San Antonio Brahmas vs. Birmingham Stallions | Week 9 Preview | Carlos Davis

San Antonio Brahmas vs. Birmingham Stallions | Week 9 Preview

Week nine in the UFL features a unique matchup, between the San Antonio Brahmas and Birmingham Stallions. These two teams have never played each other before, and both are two of the top organizations in all of spring football.

The Birmingham Stallions are red hot, with an 8-0 record this year. They haven’t lost in over a year dating back to the USFL, with 15 straight victories to their name. Skip Holtz is running a legitimate dynasty in Birmingham, and it’s clear week in and week out.

San Antonio has been battling injuries all year, yet still boast a 6-2 record. Wade Phillips and his coaching staff have done an impressive job of weathering the storm, finding ways to win football games. They firmly believe they have an opportunity to hand Birmingham their first loss this season: and they’re hungry to prove they’re as good of a team.

Let’s take a look at the key factors heading into this matchup.

Quarterback Play

Adrian Martinez is a clear MVP front runner at this point. He’s led Birmingham to an 8-0 record, and continues to impress. This past week against Houston, Martinez scored five touchdowns en route to a 35 point performance for his offense.

Martinez will prove to be an issue for San Antonio defensively. While the Brahmas have an excellent defense, Adrian’s legs are potent, and he simply can’t be stopped on the ground. Adrian is leading the UFL in rushing yards right now.

On San Antonio’s side, Chase Garbers was activated off of injured reserve this week. That said, according to Wade Phillips, it is more likely that we’ll see Quinten Dormady as QB1 since Chase is just getting readjusted to practice.

Dormady has had an up and down season. He really struggled the last couple of weeks – but then put on a 320 yard performance against Arlington, leading the Brahmas to a playoff-clinching win. Expect the quarterback play to be pretty solid between Martinez and Dormady this weekend.

Standout Playmakers

You said you wanted to see playmakers? I’ve got some good news: there is no shortage of talent on either of these teams. It’s actually pretty ridiculous.

On the ground, the Brahmas have John Lovett, who’s one of the leading rushers in the UFL. Not to mention, they just got Anthony McFarland back – who posted 136 yards of offense and two touchdowns against Arlington this past weekend.

Jontre Kirklin, Cody Latimer, and Marquez Stevenson have been consistent targets all year long, no matter who the signal caller is. Latimer is coming off his best game of the year, with six catches for 116 yards. Keep an eye on the TE battle between Latimer, and the former All-USFL TE on the Stallions side in Jace Sternberger.

Kevin Austin is a guy who has burst onto the scene for Birmingham during the second half of the season. His speed is unreal, putting it on full display on a couple of long touchdowns. Between Austin, Ricky Person Jr., Deon Cain, Amari Rodgers, and others – the Stallions are loaded with NFL-Caliber athletes.

Breaking Down The Statistics

Offensively, these two teams are at the top of the ranks in the UFL. They’ve been solid all year, and have no doubt been fun to watch:

  • Birmingham is averaging 371.8 yards per game (1st), San Antonio at 295.6 (3rd)
  • Stallions leading the UFL with 29.5 points per game, San Antonio has dipped to 20.4 (5th)

Defensively, both of these organizations are elite. Birmingham has the best defense statistically, but the Brahmas are right there:

  • Birmingham is allowing just 242.8 yards per game (1st), San Antonio at 261.3 (3rd)
  • San Antonio is giving up only 16.4 points per game (1st), Birmingham at 17.9 (2nd)
  • San Antonio with 26 sacks (1st), Birmingham with 25 (2nd)
  • Stallions have 16 takeaways (1st), Brahmas with just 8 (7th)

Without a doubt, this game will come down to the wire. Looking at these two defenses, we could be in for an intense affair on that side of the football. San Antonio and Birmingham have the best pass rushers in the UFL, no question.

This could prove to be a problem for the Brahmas, as Dormady is not as mobile as Martinez. Either way, San Antonio should be able to pressure Adrian effectively, especially with the way Jordan Mosley and Tavante Beckett have been tackling.

Birmingham’s defensive line has been elite, but they’ve slowed down a bit when it comes to sacks. They had 18 through three weeks, and have only had seven since then.

Coaching Matchup

San Antonio Brahmas | Wade Phillips: Wade Phillips is coaching some of the best football of his career in the spring scene. Not many professional teams have had to deal with the onslaught of injuries that Wade’s team has dealt with, yet they are still 6-2. San Antonio is no doubt the sleeper team to make it all the way.

Coach Phillips spoke on this upcoming game, and the challenges they will face trying to slow down Birmingham:

“They haven’t lost a game in two years. Their quarterback is leading the league in rushing. It’s not a quarterback who will pull and run, it’s a drop back pass that he’s still running with. That’s hard to stop because you don’t know where he’s running it, and he can throw the ball. Especially if you’re playing man, it’s tough. We probably will have to play a little more zone against him to make sure Martinez doesn’t make big plays running the ball. He’s the lead MVP candidate this year, and they’re undefeated.”

Birmingham Stallions | Skip Holtz: “The King Of Spring”, as Houston Roughnecks HC Curtis Johnson called Holtz after losing to him last weekend, the Stallions continue to win football games. This team is elite with the coaching staff in place, and Skip continues to show why he’s one of the best in the business at this level.

Final Thoughts

It’s a bit tough to predict how this game will go, since both of these teams are excellent on offense and defense. One would expect there to be plenty of scoring, but with the defenses allowing the fewest points in the league, it could go either way.

San Antonio still has a couple of things to play for. If they can win out, they will secure home field advantage for the XFL Conference Championship between them and St. Louis. Birmingham, on the other hand, has already secured home field for the USFL Conference Championship. Regardless of the outcome, it should be down to the wire.

The Birmingham Stallions and San Antonio Brahmas face off at the AlamoDome, at 3pm ET this Saturday on ABC.

Full Roster Breakdowns: Birmingham, San Antonio

What are your thoughts on this upcoming game between the Birmingham Stallions and San Antonio Brahmas? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!