The Michigan Panthers will travel to Birmingham to take on the Stallions for their final game of the regular season. These teams will meet again the following week in Birmingham in the USFL Division Championship game to compete for who will represent the division in the UFL Championship.

Michigan is riding a 5 game-winning streak while Birmingham is coming off of their first loss of the season last week to San Antonio which ended a 15-game winning streak dating back to last year. 

Game Details:

Date/Location: Saturday, June 1 /Protective Stadium, Birmingham, AL
Kickoff Time: 2 PM ET, 11 AM PT
Channel: Fox

If you do place bets please do so responsibly and seek help if you have a gambling problem.

Spread: Michigan +8 (-110), Birmingham -8 (-110)

Moneyline: Michigan +320, Birmingham -500

Over/Under: 43.5 (Over -110, Under -110)

Michigan Panthers (7-2):

Danny Etling will be getting the start for the Panthers at quarterback again with Bryce Perkins listed as the 2nd string QB. Last week saw Etling complete 12 of his 18 passes for 110 yards with an interception and he added 10 rushing yards. Perkins completed 12 of his 15 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown with 1 interception and added 76 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.

The team will be without receiver Marcus Simms again this week. Siaosi Mariner, Trey Quinn, and Devin Ross will be the starting receivers in this contest. Siaosi Mariner led the team in receiving last week as he caught 8 passes for 95 yards. 

At running back, Saginaw Valley State product Nate McCrary will get the start. McCrary rushed 6 times last week for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Birmingham Stallions (8-1):

The Stallions will be hungry for a win after their San Antonio snapped their 15-game win streak last week. Early in the season, we saw both Adrian Martinez and Matt Corral get significant playing time at quarterback. The last few games have been primarily Adrian Martinez. Martinez completed 18 of his 32 passes last week for 211 yards and a touchdown with 1 interception. Perhaps we will see more of Matt Corral in this game as it has no implications on the final outcome of the season.

Birmingham’s largest threat on defense has probably been their pass rush. Defensive linemen Jonathan Garvin, Dondrea Tillman, and Taco Charlton all have 29 total pressures or more so far this season. All 3 are playing in this game.

Panthers Keys to the Game

Slow the Birmingham Pass Rush

The Birmingham Stallions have the highest pass-rushing grade from Pro Football Focus. On the other hand, Michigan only has the 5th highest pass blocking grade. It’s going to be important for Michigan to keep getting rid of the ball quickly in this contest.

More Run Pass Option Plays

Last week we saw Michigan effectively utilize a lot of RPO plays. This is a great way to get the defense off balance while adjusting quickly to exploit their pre and post-snap looks.

Stop the Run

The Panthers have the 2nd highest run defense grade from PFF trailing closely behind the Houston Roughnecks. The goal for the Panthers is to effectively keep Birmingham’s run game in check and make them more 1 dimensional.

Pour on the Pressure

Last week Breeland Speaks had 3 sacks and 6 total pressures. Mika Tafua also had a sack and 4QB hurries. Ron’Dell Carter had a sack and 6 total pressures. That’s the type of performance Michigan is going to need from their defensive lineman to beat Birmingham this week and in the playoffs.

5 Panthers to Watch

RB Nate McCrary

McCrary is poised for a big opportunity in what will be his first start in a regular season game at the pro level and he gets to do it representing his home state.

WR Siaosi Mariner

Mariner joined the team part way into the season and has since accumulated 20 catches for 236 yards and a touchdown.

WR Trey Quinn

Quinn has caught 24 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown so far this season.

DE Kenny Willekes

The MSU product has been highly versatile in both the pass rush and run defense. He has 20 total tackles and 4 sacks on the season. He has 25 total quarterback pressures this season.

DT Garrett Marino

Marino has been effective on the defensive line preventing teams from opening holes in the run game. He has 6 run stops this season as well. Additionally, he has 12 total quarterback pressures including a sack.

5 Stallions to Watch

CB Lorenzo Burns

Burns has the 9th-highest cover grade from PFF. He has 30 total tackles so far this season.

LB DaMarquis Gates

Gates has 37 total tackles and 2 sacks on the season. 9 of his tackles have been run stops.

RB C.J. Marable

Marable has rushed 70 times this season for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns.

WR Deon Cain

Cain leads the team in receiving with 31 catches for 422 yards and 3 touchdowns.

TE Jace Sternberger

Sternberger has 23 receptions for 401 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season.

Depth Charts, Injuries, Inactives

Score Prediction:

I just don’t see the Birmingham Stallions losing 2 games in a row. I think this is going to be a well-fought game by the Panthers but I am predicting Birmingham to win this one by a score of 24-20.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink
Jonathan Clink will work as UFL News Hub's primary correspondent covering the Michigan Panthers for the 2024. He has written over 250 articles covering the Canadian Football League prior to joining UFL News Hub. Clink is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has a background in several other sports as well having played soccer, basketball, and hockey competitively.

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