On Sunday, the Stallions once again found a way to win and cruised to a 30-17 victory over Philadelphia. Skip Holtz started Alex McGough, giving him a shot to retain the starting job after last week’s win, and McGough was able to take the Stals down the field for a quick strike score to Michael Dereus to keep things even after an early Stars TD.
However, the offense stalled thereafter, and after going 4 of 11 passing for 50 yards, a TD and a pick, coach Holtz decided to pull McGough and give J’Mar Smith a chance to spark the offense. J’Mar came in boosted Birmingham right past the stalemate, making some big chunk plays and scoring on a 38 yard pass to Marlon Williams on his first drive.
J’Mar finished the day with essentially a perfect performance, going 17/22 passing for 203 yards and a TD, adding another score on the ground to close out the game. Yet the most noteworthy performance here was running back CJ Marable.
Marable had been steady in tandem with Tony Brooks-James through the first four weeks, but exploded today with an 114 yard performance, scoring on a 29 yard run and adding two receptions for 17 yards as well. He posted a fantastic 5.0 yards per carry, and wow. Marable looked great Sunday.
With the addition of Bo Scarbrough last week, I was wondering how the division of labor would go down in this backfield, but Marable made a statement this week. Regardless of how they work Scarbrough’s into this offense, Marable should remain a centerpiece of the run game. In fact, with CJ’s versatility, Scarbrough’s downhill power and Tony Brooks-James’ speed, this could be the most complete running back room in the USFL.
Don’t forget about the fullback either. Bobby Holly was lighting people up, and I’d imagine we’ll be seeing more of him, especially after coach Holtz watches the film.
Defense continues to be a strong point for this team as well, and even without his running mate Scooby Wright, Demarquis Gates lit up the Stars for 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a tackle for loss. Jojo Tillery had a great day and Brody Buck has been impressive filling in as an off ball linebacker with Scooby out.
Philadelphia got both of their scores on the ground, but overall the rushing attack had just 62 yards on the day, and couldn’t be counted on to move the chains. Case Cookus avoided major mistakes but wasn’t able to get momentum through the air either.
This team as a whole continues to work together and find a path to victory no matter the situation. It’s a great time to be a Stallions fan.