By DaVince “Dino” Wright
New Jersey Generals vs Birmingham Stallions
Saturday – April 16 – 6:30 p.m.
Protective Stadium – Birmingham, AL
Spring football take centers stage on April 16th. The USFL has a history of legends to play in the league. Former Heisman Trophy winners such as Georgia’s Hershel Walker and Boston College Doug Flutie in the mid 80’s. Flash forward to 2022, the league has some talented players, coaches and executives that are football household names such as USFL EVP Daryl “The Moose” Johnston, former college coaches such as Kevin Sumlin, Skip Holtz, Mike Riley, Gene Chizik and Larry Fedora. The league has proven ex-NFL coaches such as Jeff Fisher (Titans-Oilers) and Todd Haley (Titans). There are 8 teams playing in the USFL: Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers in the North. In the South division: Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits. Each team has a 10-game schedule with teams playing each other twice and teams in the other division once. The first game of the inaugural 2022 season is between the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions. Let’s take a closer look at both teams.
New Jersey Generals
New Jersey has some pretty good players on both sides of the ball and are led Head coach Mike Riley. Mike Riley coached at the University of Nebraska and led them to a 93-80 career record. He has a talented quarterback in De’Andre Johnson. De’Andre is 6’2, 188 pounds and is extremely dangerous running the ball out of the shot gun. Running back Darius Victor played collegiate football at Towson. He’s excellent carrying the ball between the tackles. Wide receivers Alonzo Moore and Darrius Shepherd will be the guys to watch on the outside.
Head coach Gene Chizik leads a roster of who’s who from Division 1 and 2 schools. He has two pretty good quarterbacks that could start in the NFL but didn’t have the hoopla to carry them to the next level. Quarterbacks Alex McGough (Florida International) and J’Mar Smith (Louisiana Tech) are good! No one knows who will get the start, but this offense will put up points. The Birmingham defense will be led by linebacker DeMarquis Gates (Ole Miss). He was an awesome pass rusher that’s a great run stopper. Strong safety Tyree Robinson (Oregon) will be the catalyst in the defensive backfield.
No one knows what the outcome of this game and what the score is going to be. Every week, I’m going to bring you guys the USFL Game of The Week. I’m going to take a stab at this and take the Birmingham Stallions by 8!
Stallions – 29
Generals – 21