What you need to know for this year’s championship

ARLINGTON, TX (June 14, 2024) – The United Football League will host the inaugural UFL Championship Game, presented by the U.S. Army, on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis.

The USFL Conference Champion Birmingham Stallions will face the XFL Conference Champion San Antonio Brahmas. 

HOW THE TEAMS GOT HERE

Birmingham Stallions

Birmingham entered the inaugural season of the UFL as one of the odds-on favorites to win the league championship. The Stallions were back-to-back USFL Champions and were 21-3 in two seasons of the modern USFL. 

Birmingham continued its dominance as the United Football League was formed, compiling eight straight wins (by an average margin of 10.4 points) to start the 2024 season. The Stallions had a playoff berth secured just six weeks into the 10-week regular season.

But the Stallions finally suffered a loss in Week 9 of the UFL season – an 18-9 setback at the hands of the eventual XFL Champion San Antonio Brahmas, who they will face Sunday for the UFL crown.

Birmingham shrugged off that loss and defeated Michigan 20-19 in the regular season finale, finishing the regular season 5-0 at home. 

To earn a berth in the UFL Championship Game, Birmingham would need to survive Michigan for a third time this season – and a second time in as many weeks at the USFL Conference Championship game. Michigan was dominant early, but Birmingham stormed back with 28 unanswered points to take a 31-18 victory and punch their ticket to St. Louis.

The Stallions featured five All-UFL players, including the UFL Most Valuable Player in quarterback Adrian Martinez. 

Birmingham boasts the top offense in the UFL, averaging nearly 350 yards per game of total offense. The Stallions were also the top scoring offense in the league, averaging 26.5 points per game. They’re not too shabby on defense, either. Birmingham ranked No. 2 in scoring defense, No. 1 in rushing defense and No. 2 in total defense through the regular season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Birmingham Stallions

  • QB – Adrian Martinez – UFL Most Valuable Player – UFL leading rusher (52.8 ypg, 3 TDs) – UFL No. 3 passer (174.9 ypg, 15 TDs)
  • QB – Matt Corral – Took over for Martinez in 3rd quarter of USFL Conference Championship Game and led the Stallions to victory over the Michigan Panthers
  • TE – Jace Sternberger – All-UFL Selection – Ranked No. 6 in UFL with 45.4 rec ypg
  • G – Zack Johnson – All-UFL Selection
  • DL Carlos Davis – All-UFL Selection – Ranked No. 3 in UFL with 7 sacks
  • S A.J. Thomas – All-UFL Selection – UFL No. 1(tie) in interceptions with 3
  • RBs Ricky Person Jr. & C.J. Marable – Combined for 66.6 rushing ypg in regular season
  • LB Kyahva Tezino – Ranked No. 4 in UFL with 70 tackles

San Antonio Brahmas

The Brahmas, on the other hand, were a bit of an enigma heading into the season. San Antonio was at or near the bottom of the board when it came to the oddsmakers predictions to win the championship entering the season.

The Brahmas had a new coach in Wade Phillips and a roster with more than 30 new players, a 60 percent turnover rate from the previous season. But it didn’t take long for all those new faces to gel. San Antonio opened with a dominant 27-12 win over the D.C. Defenders. 

If there were any questions about the determination and resolve of the Brahmas, they were answered in Week 2. Trailing the Memphis Showboats 16-0 after three quarters and 19-8 with less than a minute left, the Brahmas scored two touchdowns in the final 48 seconds vs. the Showboats to take a 20-19 victory. It was the largest comeback win in the UFL this season.

The Brahmas went on to go 7-3 in the regular season, but two of those losses came at the hands of the St. Louis Battlehawks. San Antonio fell 31-24 to the Battlehawks in San Antonio in Week 3. In a Week 10 matchup that would be a preview of the XFL Conference Championship Game, Brahmas kicker Ryan Santoso missed a 51-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining in a 13-12 loss. 

After falling to St. Louis twice by an average of four points, San Antonio returned to St. Louis for the XFL Championship Game and dominated for much of the contest, despite losing starting quarterback Chase Garbers early in the game. The Brahmas built a 19-3 lead in the third quarter. However, St. Louis scored 12 points in 13 seconds late in the third to pull within four, 19-15. San Antonio responded with a 31-yard Santoso field goal to lead 22-15 after three quarters. The Brahmas defense shut St. Louis out in the fourth quarter and Santoso put the game away on a 45-yard field goal with less than 2 minutes remaining to win 25-15.

San Antonio epitomized the ethos about being greater than the sum of its parts, as the Brahmas had just two players – offensive lineman Kohl Levao and linebacker Tavante Beckett – named to the All-UFL Team.

San Antonio boasts the No. 1-ranked defense in the league, allowing just 256.7 yards and 15.3 points per game. The Brahmas are No. 1 in the league against the pass and No. 3 against the run. Offensively, San Antonio is No. 4 in total offense, No. 3 in passing and No. 4 in rushing.


San Antonio Brahmas

  • QBs Chase Garbers & Quinten Dormady – Combined for 1,971 passing ypg, 12 TDs in regular season
  • RB Anthony McFarland – Brahmas are 5-1 in games he plays – Rushed for 115 yards in XFL Conference Championship Game
  • RB John Lovett – No. 4 Rusher in UFL with 52.8 ypg
  • LB Tavante Beckett – All-UFL Selection – Ranked No. 3 in UFL in tackles with 72 – Ranked No. 3 in UFL with 9 tackles for loss
  • G Kohl Levao – All-UFL Selection
  • LB Wyatt Ray – Ranked No. 5 in UFL with 5.5 sacks
  • DB Jordan Mosley – Ranked No. 2 in UFL with 75 total tackles
  • WR Jontre Kirklin – Ranked No. 2 in the UFL in receiving yards with 61.4 yards per game

TALE OF THE TAPE

Birmingham Statistical San Antonio

Offense (UFL Rank) Category Defense (UFL Rank)

26.5 (1st) Scoring 15.3 (1st)

347.5 (1st) Yards Per Game 256.7 (1st)

134.7 (1st) Rushing 88.5 (3rd)

212.8 (2nd) Passing 168.2 (1st)

20.7 (1st) First Downs 15.4 (1st)

BROADCAST INFORMATION 

The 2024 United Football League Championship Game will be televised on FOX and available on the FOX Sports App. Curt Menefee will call the play-by-play action with Joel Klatt serving as the color analyst in the booth. They will be joined by sideline analyst Devin Gardner. 

ANTHEM

Singing the anthem will be St. Louis’ very own Charles Glenn, with representatives from the U.S. Army presenting the nation’s colors. Glenn is best known as the St. Louis Blues’ anthem singer for 19 years, but is also a nationally-renowned touring artist.

HALFTIME

The entertainment will continue at halftime with a special performance by All-UFL Punter and accomplished musician, Marquette King of the Arlington Renegades. 

FAN FEST

Prior to the game, the league will host a Fan Fest from 12-4 p.m. CT at Baer Plaza. Fans will be entertained by a DJ and interactive presentations, including the Impossible Kick, presented by the U.S. Army. 

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author avatar
Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of UFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL, USFL and UFL coverage since 2018.

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