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 United Football League

Inside the UFL

by Fran Stuchbury
June 6, 2024 - United Football League (UFL)

The United Football League completed its season with three of the four games decided by just one point.

Last Saturday the Birmingham Stallions edged the Michigan Panthers 20-19, ending the Panthers' five-game winning streak. The Stallions finished the regular season 9-1 and are 30-4 over the last three spring pro football seasons.

Jake Bates missed a 53-yard field goal at the end that could have won it for the Panthers. Prior to that miss, Bates made two-game winning kicks, both at home, a 64-yarder against St. Louis and a 42-yarder against Arlington.

In another playoff preview, the St. Louis Battlehawks defeated the San Antonio Brahmas 13-12 to grab home field advantage in the XFL Conference Championship game this Sunday.

The Brahmas had a chance to win that game in the closing seconds, but Ryan Santoso missed a 51-yard field goal attempt. After starting the UFL season connecting on 12 of 13 field goals, Santoso has missed his last five attempts.

On Sunday the Arlington Renegades defeated the D.C. Defenders in a shootout, 32-31. The defending XFL Champions starting the season 0-6 but ended by winning three of their last four games to finish at 3-7.

The Memphis Showboats earned the top pick in each round of the 2025 UFL Draft with 19-12 victory over moribund Houston. Showboats running back Darius Victor led the way with 10 carries for 54 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

UFL Top 10 plays from Week 10

Best Mic'd Up Moments of Week 10

Conference Championship Games

Saturday June 9th

  • USFL Conference Championship - Michigan Panthers at Birmingham Stallions - 3 pm est. ABC

Sunday June 9th

  • XFL Conference Championship - San Antonio Brahmas at St. Louis Battlehawks - 7 pm est. FOX

Playoff Preview

Michigan Panthers vs. Birmingham Stallions

The Stallions won both matchups the year, week two on the road 20-13 and last week at home 20-19.

Adrian Martinez is 6-1 as a starter for Birmingham and leads the UFL with 528 rushing yards, averaging 9.8 yards per carry. Ricky Person and and C.J. Marable have combined for 590 yards. The Stallions lead the league with 1,347 rushing yards.

Tight end Jace Sternberger tops Birmingham with 454 receiving yards, while wide receiver Deon Cain collected 54 receptions.

On defense Carlos Davis was tied for second in the UFL in sacks with seven.

The Michigan Panthers have gone through four quarterbacks this season. Danny Etling will start will start, and he has played in seven game. Bryce Perkins lifted the team with his mobility but got injured last week against Birmingham and will miss the remainder of the season. E.J. Perry will return to the team as the backup after getting injured in week four.

Matthew Colburn II leads the Panthers with 401 rushing yards. Like the Stallions, Michigan is a run-heavy team, second in the UFL with 1,253 rushing yards. Dangerous Marcus Simms finished with 426 receiving yards.

Panthers defensive end Breeland Speaks rang up a league-leading 9.5 sacks.

For Michigan to win this game they must contain Adrian Martinez and not allow him to scramble and pile up rushing yards.

If the Stallions shut down the Panthers' running game and force them to throw the football, it will bolster their chances of winning this game.

San Antonio Brahmas vs. St. Louis Battlehawks

St. Louis won both matchups, 31-24 week three at San Antonio and 13-12 at home last week.

The Battlehawks have a big edge at the quarterback position with A.J. McCarron who has passed for 1,582 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. His favorite target is Hakeem Butler who rolled up a league-leading 652 yards.

The Brahmas will likely go with whoever has the hot hand, Chase Garbers, who saw his first action last week after missing time with an injury, or Quinten Dormady, who has played much of the season.

Jontre Kirkland was tied for first in the UFL with 56 receptions and came in second behind Hakeem Butler with 614 yards.

The running game will also be a factor. Jacob Sayers of St. Louis placed second in the league with 461 rushing yards, leading UFL running backs, and on the other side Jon Lovett finished close behind with 422 yards, good for fourth in the league.

On defense for the Battlehawks linebacker Willie Harvey leads the UFL with 78 total tackles.

Behind Harvey, free safety Jordan Mosley was second in tackles with 75 while linebacker Tavante Beckett had 72. The Brahmas have given up a league-low 153 points.

To win this game St. Louis must get more out of the passing game after managing just 115 yards through the air last week.

For the Brahmas the defense has to play as well as it did with the offense being more efficient putting points on the board. Santoso must get back on track if the team needs a big kick.


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United Football League Stories from June 6, 2024

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