United Football League
Birmingham Stallions cement dynasty status with dominant run to UFL crown
United Football League

Birmingham Stallions cement dynasty status with dominant run to UFL crown

Updated Jun. 16, 2024 9:42 p.m. ET

With a 25-0 win against the XFL Conference champion San Antonio Brahmas in Sunday's UFL Championship Game, the Birmingham Stallions' dynasty is complete. Skip Holtz's Stallions joined Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers (1965-1967) and Hugh Campbell's Edmonton Elks (Eskimos, 1978-1982) as the only pro football clubs to win three straight championships.

In doing so, Holtz has accomplished what Bill Belichick did not with the New England Patriots, and what Andy Reid will attempt to do next winter with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Stallions have compiled a 32-4 record in three years, never sustaining more than two losses in a single season. During that span, Holtz has developed two league MVPs and several NFL players, including NFL First Team All-Pro kicker Brandon Aubrey of the Dallas Cowboys.


Along with general manager Zach Potter, Holtz has built a club out of players who starred in college and fell through cracks at various training camps, suffered roster cuts and fell victim to the finite numbers of professional football. They found men who want to win as much as they want to get back to the NFL.

"They're not essentially at their lowest point, I don't believe in that," Potter said. "I just think it's another roadblock; adversity that these guys are gonna have to overcome and conquer. But the way that we do it is we're trying to do it is we're trying to acquire talent that we believe will be difficult for other teams to acquire."

That talent was on full display on Father's Day at The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis. The Brahmas walked in with the No. 1 scoring defense in the UFL, a unit that had given up more than 20 points only once — a 31-24 Week 3 loss to the same St. Louis BattleHawks they beat in the XFL title game. And by the end of the third quarter, they had not only given up 22 points, but had not scored at all.

The Stallions defense stopped the Brahmas on their first six drives. By the start of the second half, the Stallions had pitched four-straight shutout quarters, and the offense responded with complementary football.

After a scoreless first quarter, a 44-yard rush by former North Carolina State running back Ricky Person led to the first score of the game, when UFL MVP and former Kansas State QB Adrian Martinez found former Big 12 foe and West Virginia wideout Gary Jennings in the end zone.

Remarkably, a Stallions team that had been an offensive power for not only this season in the UFL, but the last two in the legacy USFL, found itself playing the kind of football that earned the Brahmas their trip to the UFL title game: a solid rush attack and elite defense. They stuck to that with their first drive of the third quarter, and Martinez scored his second TD within the first four minutes.

UFL Championship Game: Instant Reaction to Stallions' win

The Stallions defense was able to keep the Brahmas offense in check, forcing quarterback Chase Garbers to throw to the outside rather than down the middle of the field, an area where the Michigan Panthers had beaten up the Stallions.

The Brahmas offense isn't great when forced off schedule, and it showed, with just 31 rushing yards in the first half, one week after going for more than 200 yards on the ground in the XFL title game.

After the Stallions forced a fumble while up 16-0 with 10 minutes to play in the third, the Stallions extended their lead with a third score in as many possessions, pushing downfield behind an offensive line that began imposing its will.

When San Antonio coach Wade Phillips threw his headset in disgust after his defense allowed a QB sneak for touchdown No. 3, it was difficult to see how San Antonio would come back against a team that has never lost in the playoffs under Holtz.

UFL Championship: Brahmas vs. Stallions highlights

It is one thing to win a title. It is quite another to leave no doubt as to who reigns supreme in the UFL: The USFL champion beat the XFL champion at the start of the season. The USFL champion beat the XFL champion at the end of the season.

Respect will be paid.

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RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast "The Number One College Football Show." Follow him at @RJ_Young and subscribe to "The RJ Young Show" on YouTube.


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