Bo Scarbrough bolsters the Stallions’ offense in crucial playoff win

Through RJ Young
FOX sportswriter

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Birmingham stallions Coach Skip Holtz wanted the people sitting in Protective Stadium’s media conference room to know he was happy.

He’s pleased his team came from behind to beat the Pittsburgh Maulers 26-16 on Sunday. He’s happy his team improved to 7-0, and he’s happy his team made the playoffs second before Memorial Day.

The Birmingham Stallions claim a playoff spot with a win

The Birmingham Stallions claim a playoff spot with a win

The Birmingham Stallions defeated the Pittsburgh Maulers 26-16 in a comeback win. Bo Scarbrough ran 100 yards.

“But,” he said, “I’ve heard far too many ‘my evils’ out there.”

Holtz said he could handle physical flaws. He just can’t take mental ones.

Flanked by fullback Bobby Holly and running back Bo Scarbrough, Holtz turned to Holly.

“Bobby, what do I say to saying ‘my bad’?” asked Holtz.

“You say, ‘I don’t want your bad. I want your best.'”

Still, the stallions’ badness proved good enough to beat the teams before them – sooner or later.

The United States Football League’s best team in the second half made it again behind the mileage of Scarbrough, a former Alabama dockworker who always talks about the team first and always.

When asked how he felt putting together his second straight 100-yard rushing performance, Scarbrough was stunned.

Stallions’ Bo Scarbrough continues to dominate

Stallions' Bo Scarbrough continues to dominate

Bo Scarbrough ran 100 yards as the Birmingham Stallions drove to a 26-16 win over the Pittsburgh Maulers.

“I didn’t even know I ran 100 meters,” he said.

Well he did, with most of the damage done after the break.

After rushing for just 31 yards with 11 carries in the first half, Scarbrough finished the game with 27 rushes for 100 yards.

His presence forced the Maulers to halt the run, giving quarterback J’Mar Smith a chance to hit just enough passes with a depleted wide receiving corps to become the second team to earn a playoff ticket to Canton, Ohio. cashed.

Holtz said he wanted Smith to field more shots. On the opening drive, he uncorked a 53-yard pass that he dropped in the bucket for Victor Bolden, who made the catch over his shoulder. This is how Smith looked his best all day. He completed just nine of 24 pass attempts for 138 yards and threw an interception.

But kicker Brandon Aubrey converted the big game into three points to give Birmingham an early 3-0 lead.

The Maulers responded, attempting to become the latest team to capitalize on the Stallions’ habit of starting slowly. With running back Madre London, the Maulers (1-6) took a 7-3 lead against the best team in the league, with the first 3:03 left. That was the biggest lead Pittsburgh had held all season.

The Maulers would later extend their lead to 10-3 with just over eight minutes left at halftime, but they could have been in even better form had it not been for the Maulers’ quarterback Vad Lee getting stripped by Willie Henry in the red zone and would have been fired.

The Stallions closed the gap before half-time with a field goal to make it 10:6.

A fake punt and a kick clinic

Just when the game looked like there would be more of the like, Holtz called a fake punt.

Holly, in his personal protective role, sprinted 52 yards through the middle of the Maulers’ punt return team for a score that put the Stallions 13-10 ahead in the third quarter with 12-27 left.

“I think the quarter was about over when he got into the end zone,” joked Holtz.

Bobby Holly scores with a fake punt

Bobby Holly scores with a fake punt

The Birmingham Stallions’ Bobby Holly rushes 52 yards for a touchdown on the fake punt to give the Stallions a third-quarter lead.

It turns out that Holly shouldn’t be doing this game. Holtz said the punt team didn’t get the look they wanted and that Holly should check out the fake.

However, in the media conference, Holly stood up for herself and reached out to Holtz.

“They tell us you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” Holly said.

Holtz admitted that was true.

Quarterback to receiver?

Holtz selected QB Alex McGough with his first pick in the first USFL draft. He expected the man who had passed 6,200 yards and holds records for pass attempts and pass touchdowns at Florida International to be his starter.

But after suffering an ankle injury in Week 1, McGough parted ways with Smith. As the season progressed, Holtz steadily moved toward making Smith, his former starting quarterback at Louisiana Tech, a starter.

However, McGough wanted to help the team, and they definitely needed the help. The Stallions started the game without the dangerous Marlon Williams and Bolden missed the second half through injury.

Limitations of the Birmingham squad and the need for capable hands at receiver forced Holtz to attempt McGough at the slot receiver position. And it almost worked.

McGough managed to pull a pass interference penalty. But he later watched a pass from Smith slip through his hands. Bryce Torneden picked it up and returned it to the Stallions’ 21-yard line, setting up a field goal that leveled things at 13-13 with 4:10 in the third.

River(s Boat) Gambling

By the end of the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh coach Kirby Wilson had seen enough of quarterback Vad Lee completing just six of 14 passes for 58 yards.

Wilson reached out to backup quarterback Roland Rivers, who, while at Slippery Rock, had won the 2019 Harlon Hill Award winner – bestowed on FCS Most Valuable Player.

Rivers, who signed with the Maulers on Tuesday, came on with 4:37 left and had a chance to win, but just a minute and 25 seconds later they turned the ball over to Downs. Rivers finished 3-for-9 for 25 yards.

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The #1 ranking with RJ Young.” Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Youngand subscribe”The RJ Young Show” on YouTube. He’s not on a StepMill.

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