USFL Game 1 final score: Birmingham Stallions defeat New Jersey Generals, 28-24, in inaugural game

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The Birmingham Stallions defeated the New Jersey Generals, 28-24, in the inaugural game of the USFL season at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday night.

The matchup came down to the final minutes as both teams traded scores back-and-forth throughout. But QB J’Mar Smith, who entered the game in the second half to replace the injured Alex McGough, rushed for a game-winning two-yard touchdown with 29 seconds left to secure the victory for the hometown Stallions.

The Generals dominated the first half of the game as QB Luis Perez threw two touchdown passes, including one to standout WR Randy Satterfield, to give New Jersey a seven-point lead heading into the locker room.

After relying predominantly on their passing game in the first half, both teams found the ground game in the second. Fellow Generals QB De’Andre Johnson helped set up a 47-yard field goal with two minutes left in the game to give New Jersey a three-point lead. But there was too much time left on the clock and the Stallions took advantage, driving 10 plays all the way down the field for the game-winning touchdown score.

The Generals were led by head coach Mike Riley, who was a former defensive back for the University of Alabama from 1971-74 and has over 40 seasons of head coaching experience at the pro and collegiate levels.  Skip Holtz led the opposite sideline for the Stallions. Holtz is the son of former head coach Lou Holtz, who spent 11 seasons at the helm at Notre Dame and won a national championship in 1988. Skip most recently spent the last nine seasons at Louisiana Tech where he finished with an overall record of 64-50. He made his coaching debut at the professional level against the Generals and is now 1-0 as a pro football coach.

Generals vs. Stallions score, results, highlights

Final score: New Jersey Generals 24, Birmingham Stallions 28

1st quarter, 11:51 (Generals): L.Perez pass short middle complete to BHAM 3. Catch made by R.Satterfield at BHAM 3. Gain of 3 yards. R.Satterfield for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN

1st quarter, 11:18 (Stallions): A.McGough pass complete to NJ 35. Catch made by O.Mitchell at NJ 35. Gain of 35 yards. O.Mitchell for 35 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

2nd quarter, 9:16 (Generals): L.Perez pass complete to BHAM 13. Catch made by B.Bowman at BHAM 13. Gain of 13 yards. B.Bowman for 13 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

3rd quarter, 0:42 (Stallions): C.Marable rushed to NJ End Zone for 3 yards. C.Marable for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

4th quarter, 9:21 (Generals): D.Johnson rushed right end to BHAM End Zone for 4 yards. D.Johnson for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

4th quarter, 6:00 (Stallions): J.Smith pass complete to NJ 28. Catch made by C.Angeline at NJ 28. Gain of 28 yards. C.Angeline for 28 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

4th quarter, 1:54 (Generals): N.Rose 47 yard field goal attempt is good, Center-S.Flanick, Holder-B.Miller.

4th quarter, 0:29 (Stallions): J.Smith scrambles right end to NJ End Zone for 2 yards. J.Smith for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Generals vs. Stallions reaction and coverage

10:50 p.m. ET: It comes down to the final play of the game but the hometown Stallions hold on for the win!

10:45 p.m. ET: On the 10th play of the drive, Smith takes it for himself and scrambles two yards into the end zone. The Stallions take a 28-24 lead with 29 seconds left to play in Birmingham!

10:34 p.m. ET: The Generals have rushed the ball 24 straight times!

Rose gets his third shot of the night to try to convert a field goals for the Generals. This time, he converts the 47-yard field goal to give New Jersey a 24-21 lead with less than two minutes left to play.

Can Smith pull off a successful two-minute drive for the Stallions?

10:23 p.m. ET: The Stallions respond on their following drive as Smith completes a 28-yard touchdown pass over the middle of the field to Cary Angeline.

Angeline has spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles.

We’re knotted at 21-21 with less than six minutes left to play.

10:10 p.m. ET: After recording less than 50 rushing yards in the entire first half, the Generals embraced their run game in the fourth quarter.

To cap off an 11-play, 65-yard drive, Johnson rushes for a four-yard touchdown down the sideline and just makes it inside the pylon to give the Generals a 21-14 lead.

The Generals tallied more rushing yards on this scoring drive than they did in the entire first half.

9:56 p.m. ET: The Stallions put together their strongest drive since their opening offensive drive of the game as Smith leads Birmingham all the way down the field to the New Jersey 3-yard line.

Running back CJ Marable rushes for a 3-yard touchdown run – the first rushing TD in the game – and the Stallions tie the score at 14.

9:50 p.m. ET: Behind the scenes!

9:40 p.m. ET: With QB De’Andre Johnson under center, the Generals drive down the field. Johnson leads New Jersey on a 12-play, 75-yard drive to set Rose up for a 23-yard field goal. But the kick veers left and the score stays at 14-7.

Can the Stallions take advantage of another missed Generals FG?

9:30 p.m. ET: We are underway in the second half!

McGough is out with an injury and QB J’Mar Smith is leading the Stallions under center.

9:20 p.m. ET:

Halftime stats:

The Generals ran eight drives in the first half, while the Stallions ran seven.

New Jersey tallied 224 total yards and Birmingham recorded 82. NJ dominated the passing game in the half with 175 yards in the air versus 49 passing yards for Birmingham.

Each team recorded one turnover.

The Generals won the time of possession battle at 19:41, while the Stallions held the ball for 10:19.

9:15 p.m. ET: Generals kicker Nick Rose attempts a 47-yard field goal to close out the half, but his kick veers wide left.

New Jersey takes a 14-7 lead into the locker room.

9:08 p.m. ET: Some game clock differences to note as the first half winds down:

The play clock is 35 seconds in the USFL instead of 40.

The clock automatically stops on first downs inside the 2-minute warning.

8:58 p.m. ET: Satterfield continues to dominate in 1-on-1 matchups with one 15-yard pass followed by another 31-yard catch down the sideline to set the Generals up on the Birmingham 27-yard line.

But Stallions LB Scooby Wright sacks Perez and forces a fumble to give the ball back to Birmingham and halt the Generals’ momentum.

8:50 p.m. ET: The Generals have been playing with multiple quarterbacks all night. Perez started the game but QB De’Andre Johnson is also getting snaps under center.

Perez escapes a couple of grabs by the Stallions defense and connects with Braedon Bowman for a 13-yard touchdown pass. The Generals capitalize on the turnover and take a 14-7 lead.

8:35 p.m. ET: McGough is back on the field despite walking off gingerly at the end of the Stallions’ last possession.

But his pass is intercepted by Generals safety Shalom Luani at the New Jersey 37-yard line – the first turnover of the game and in the history of the league.

8:25 p.m. ET: Defensive pass interference called on the Stallions down the sideline.

Unlike in the NFL, this results in only a 15-yard penalty, and is not a spot foul.

For further explanation on the difference in rules in the USFL, click here.

That brings us to the end of the first quarter as the Generals continue to drive down the field.

8:20 p.m. ET: New perspective!

8:16 p.m. ET: DeMarquis Gates of the Stallions records the first sack of the game as he picks up a huge loss of seven with his tackle of Perez.

Fun fact about another part of the Stallions defense: their secondary has played in a combined 83 NFL games.

8:08 p.m. ET: Birmingham, the host city for the USFL this season, has a long history of professional football that dates back to the 1970s.

Players on both sidelines have ties to the area.

Generals QB J’Mar Smith’s father, Kenny Smith, played DL at Alabama (and went on to play in the NFL).

Stallions WR Peyton Ramzy grew up in McCalla, Alabama, which is roughly 25 minutes Southwest of Protective Stadium in Birmingham.

7:57 p.m. ET: The Stallions respond right away as QB Alex McGough connects with WR Osirus Mitchell on a 35-yard touchdown pass. Mitchell makes a one-handed grab in the back of the end zone to tie the score at seven apiece.

The scoring drive takes just two plays and 36 seconds.

7:50 p.m. ET: Luis Perez is under center for the Generals in their opening possession. He gets the game off to a hot start with a 49-yard pass down the sideline to Randy Satterfield.

On fourth-and-1 inside the 10-yard line, the Generals make the first gutsy call of the game and opt to go for it. They successfully convert and its Perez to Satterfield again for the touchdown – the first in the history of the USFL!

Generals take an early 7-0 lead.

7:45 p.m. ET: Birmingham wins the toss and defers.

And we are officially playing football in the spring!

7:40 p.m. ET: Bigger than football.

7:30 p.m. ET: It’s just about that time! Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is in Birmingham helping to tell us what to expect.

7:10 p.m. ET: The hometown Stallions are fired up for the first kickoff of the season.

7:06 p.m. ET: Are you ready?

The first game of the USFL’s inaugural season is less than 30 minutes away from kickoff!

Everything you need to know about the USFL:

What time and channel is the Generals vs. Stallions on?

RELATED: How to watch the New Jersey Generals vs Birmingham Stallions: TV, Live Stream for tomorrow’s USFL game

  • When: Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock, and FOX. FOX will produce tonight’s game coverage while NBC does pregame, halftime and postgame coverage.
  • Where: Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Live Stream: NBC and Peacock

2023 USFL Week 8 Schedule: How to watch Gamblers vs Maulers, Stars vs Stallions start times, live stream info


Week 8 of the 2023 USFL season  features four games you don’t want to miss. First, on Saturday, June 3 it’s the Houston Gamblers (4-3) vs Pittsburgh Maulers (2-5) at 12:00 PM ET on USA Network and Peacock. Then at 3:00 PM, the Philadelphia Stars (4-3) will go head-to-head with the Birmingham Stallions (5-2) on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: Control what you can control – How journey through the fire led Generals RB Darius Victor to the USFL

On Sunday, June 4, the USFL excitement starts at 1:00 PM with a Memphis Showboats (4-3) vs New Jersey Generals match up. Then, at 4:00 PM the Michigan Panthers (3-4) face the the New Orleans Breakers (4-3) to cap off the night. See below for additional information on how to watch/live stream each game this weekend.

RELATED: 2023 USFL Season Schedule – Dates, times, locations, new teams, playoff format, scores and more

Saturday, June 3:

Houston Gamblers at Pittsburgh Maulers – 12 p.m. (USA and Peacock)

Philadelphia Stars at Birmingham Stallions – 3 p.m. (NBC and Peacock)

Sunday, June 4:

Memphis Showboats at New Jersey Generals – 1 p.m. (FOX)

Michigan Panthers at New Orleans Breakers – 4 p.m. (FOX)

Where are the new locations for the 2023 USFL Season?

The 2023 USFL season will feature four host cities: Detroit, Memphis, Canton, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama.

  • The New Jersey Generals and Pittsburgh Maulers will be hosted in Canton, Ohio at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
  • The Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers will be hosted in Birmingham at Protective Stadium.
  • The Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars will be hosted in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field.
  • The Memphis Showboats and Houston Gamblers will be hosted in Memphis, Tennessee at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

RELATED: 2023 USFL Season –  Who are this year’s USFL head coaches?

How can I watch USFL games on Peacock?

Sign up here to watch all of our LIVE sports, sports shows, documentaries, classic matches, and more. You’ll also get tons of new & hit movies and TV shows, including Peacock Originals and current hits from NBC and Bravo. There’s always something new to discover.

What devices does Peacock support?

You can enjoy Peacock on a variety of devices. View the full list of supported devices here.

Check out these stories from NBC Sports’ Road to the USFL Kickoff Series:

USFL Week 8 Playoff Clinching Scenarios

2023 USFL Season Schedule: Dates, times, locations, new teams, playoff format, scores, and more


The 2023 USFL Season kicks off on Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16 with four thrilling games. First, the Philadelphia Stars will take on the Memphis Showboats at 4:30 PM ET followed by a New Jersey Generals vs Birmingham Stallions match up at 7:30 PM ET. On Sunday, the Michigan Panthers will go head-to-head with the Houston Gamblers at noon, followed by a Pittsburgh Maulers vs New Orleans Breakers match up at 6:30 PM.

RELATED: 2023 USFL Draft order – Complete list of every pick from Round 1 through Round 10

Season 2 of the USFL features four host cities–Detroit, Memphis, Canton, and Birmingham. This is a significant change from last year when all 10-regular season games were contested in Birmingham, Alabama and playoff games took place in Canton, Ohio. Additionally, the 2023 season will also feature a new team. The Tampa Bay Bandits will now be called the Memphis Showboats. Memphis was one of the original teams featured in the first edition of the USFL.

See below for the full 2023 USFL Season Schedule as well as answers to any questions you may have before the upcoming season. Be sure to check back for the latest updates to the schedule.

RELATED: Control what you can control – How journey through the fire led Generals RB Darius Victor to the USFL

How many teams are in the USFL?

There are a total of 8 teams in the USFL that make up two divisions:

North Division:

  • Michigan Panthers
  • New Jersey Generals
  • Philadelphia Stars
  • Pittsburgh Maulers

South Division:

  • Birmingham Stallions
  • Houston Gamblers
  • New Orleans Breakers
  • Memphis Showboats

Where will games be contested during the 2023 USFL Season?

The 2023 USFL season will feature four host cities: Detroit, Memphis, Canton, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama.

  • The New Jersey Generals and Pittsburgh Maulers will be hosted in Canton, Ohio at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
  • The Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers will be hosted in Birmingham at Protective Stadium.
  • The Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars will be hosted in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field.
  • The Memphis Showboats and Houston Gamblers will be hosted in Memphis, Tennessee at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

RELATED: Just Keep Going – Stallions RB CJ Marable makes a policy of perseverance

How many weeks are in the USFL’s regular season?

There are 10 weeks in the regular season. Each team will go head-to-head with division rivals twice and face off against teams of the opposite division once.

How will 2023 USFL playoffs work?

After the 10 week regular season comes to a close, the top two teams from each division will go head-to-head in two playoff games in late June, with the winners advancing to the USFL Championship game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

2023 USFL Season Schedule:

*All times are listed as ET


Saturday, April 15
Philadelphia Stars 27, Memphis Showboats 23
Birmingham Stallions 27, New Jersey Generals 10

Sunday, April 16
Michigan Panthers 29, Houston Gamblers 13 
New Orleans Breakers 22, Pittsburgh Maulers 15


Saturday, April 22
New Orleans Breakers 38, Houston Gamblers 31 
Birmingham Stallions 42, Memphis Showboats 2

Sunday, April 23
New Jersey Generals 20, Pittsburgh Maulers 3 
Michigan Panthers 24, Philadelphia Stars 10


Saturday, April 29
New Orleans Breakers 45, Birmingham Stallions 31
Houston Gamblers 30, Memphis Showboats 26 

Sunday, April 30
Pittsburgh Maulers 21, Philadelphia Stars 13
New Jersey Generals 28, Michigan Panthers 13 


Saturday, May 6

Houston Gamblers 41, Philadelphia Stars 16
Memphis Showboats 29,  Michigan Panthers 10

Saturday, May 7

New Orleans Breakers 20, New Jersey Generals 17
Birmingham Stallions 24, Pittsburgh Maulers 20


Saturday, May 13
Pittsburgh Maulers 23,  Michigan Panthers 7
Houston Gamblers 27, Birmingham Stallions 20

Sunday, May 14
Philadelphia Stars 24, New Jersey Generals 21 
Memphis Showboats 17,  New Orleans Breakers 10


Saturday, May 20
Memphis Showboats 22, Pittsburgh Maulers 0
Birmingham Stallions 27, Michigan Panthers 13

Sunday, May 21
Philadelphia Stars 16, New Orleans Breakers 10
Houston Gamblers 16, New Jersey Generals 10


Saturday, May 27
Birmingham Stallions 24, New Orleans 20
Philadelphia Stars 37, Pittsburgh Maulers 31

Sunday, May 28
Memphis Showboats 23, Houston Gamblers 20
Michigan Panthers 25, New Jersey Generals 22


Saturday, June 3
Houston at Pittsburgh – 12 p.m. (USA and Peacock)
Philadelphia at Birmingham – 3 p.m. (NBC and Peacock)

Sunday, June 4
Memphis at New Jersey – 1 p.m. (FOX)
Michigan at New Orleans – 4 p.m. (FOX)


Saturday, June 10
Michigan at Pittsburgh – 12 p.m. (FOX)
New Orleans at Memphis – 3 p.m. (NBC and Peacock)

Sunday, June 11
Birmingham at Houston – 2 p.m. (NBC and Peacock)
Philadelphia at New Jersey – 7 p.m. (FOX)


Saturday, June 17
Pittsburgh at New Jersey – 1 p.m. (USA and Peacock)
Birmingham at Memphis – 4 p.m. (FOX)

Sunday, June 18
New Orleans at Houston – 4 p.m. (FS1)
Philadelphia at Michigan – 7 p.m. (FOX)

Check out these other stories from NBC Sports’ Road to the USFL Kickoff Series:

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