Location: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

Game Date: Saturday, May 25th, 2024

Time: 3:00 PM EST

Channel: ABC

Streaming: UFL games on ABC and ESPN are available on ESPN+.

DraftKings Odds: Birmingham Stallions (-8.5 ) @ San Antonio Brahmas (+8.5), O/U 44 points

Week 9 of the 2024 season in the UFL features a potential championship game matchup between the undefeated Birmingham Stallions (8-0) and the San Antonio Brahmas (6-2). The Stallions qualified for the UFL playoffs in Week 6 against the Memphis Showboats, and the UFL announced this week that regardless of the results during the last two weeks of the regular season, the Stallions will host the Michigan Panthers in the USFL Conference championship game due to a scheduling conflict at Ford Field in Detroit. During Week 8, the Brahmas earned their first playoff berth with their win against the Arlington Renegades. Still, they can host the Saint Louis Battlehawks in the XFL Conference championship game if they can win the next two games.

During the last three years, the Birmingham Stallions have established themselves as the gold standard for Spring football by winning back-to-back USFL Championships in 2022 and 2023. The Stallions are also coming into San Antonio, carrying a 16-game winning streak. The Brahmas have exceeded pre-season expectations this season, with many predicting they would be the eighth-best team in the eight-team UFL. Along the way, the Brahmas made several roster adjustments to overcome many injuries, including losing their starting quarterback, Chase Garbers, in Week 3 against the Saint Louis Battlehawks.

During the Brahma’s surprising success this season, they have broken through barriers, which started by defeating the Memphis Showboats in Week 2, giving the XFL their first victory against a USFL team, and qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. This week, the Brahmas have an opportunity to be the first UFL team to defeat the Stallions. If the Brahmas are going to end the Stallion’s win streak, they will need to find a way to compete against the most dominant team in Spring football.

Let’s examine the key matchups that will determine the victor in this matchup between UFL playoff teams.

Stallions Quarterback Adrian Martinez vs. The Brahmas Defensive Front Seven

A large part of the Stallions’ success this season has been the outstanding performance of quarterback Adrian Martinez. Martinez has passed for 1,375 yards and has thrown 13 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He has also established himself as the most dangerous runner in the UFL, leading the league with 431 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

A big part of the Brahmas’ success this season has been the exceptional performance of their defensive front seven. The Brahmas currently lead the league with 26 quarterback sacks. The challenge for the Brahmas will be to simultaneously contain Martinez so that he does not have the chance to dominate in the running game and pressure Martinez so that he cannot dissect the Brahmas secondary. San Antonio will have to limit Martinez without edge defender Tim Ward, who will be inactive this week due to an injury to his ankle.

Brahmas quarterback Quinten Dormady Needs to Repeat his Week 8 Success.

Since the Brahmas lost quarterback Chase Garbers to a wrist injury, Quinten Dormady has stepped into leading the Brahmas’ offense. Dormady has been successful, leading the Brahmas to four wins and their first playoff spot. Along the way, Dormady sometimes needs help to get into a rhythm with his weapons on offense. During Week 8, Dormady overcame those struggles and played his best game of the season, throwing for 320 yards against the Renegades.

If the Brahmas are going to pick up a huge win this week, Dormady will need to recreate his success from Week 8. That will be challenging, as, unlike last week, he will be playing against the best defensive unit in the UFL. Dormady must make quick decisions and accurate throws to avoid becoming the next victim of the Stallions’ aggressive and physical defense. It is important to note that Chase Garbers has been added to the Brahmas active roster and will be available to step in for Dormady if necessary.

Can the Brahmas Establish Their Running Game Against the Stallions Defensive Line?

As Dormady has found comfort within the Brahmas offense, San Antonio has relied on a solid running game led by running back John Lovett. Unfortunately, Lovett will not be on the active roster this week. So, San Antonio must lean on running back Anthony McFarland Jr. to maintain balance in their offense. The Brahmas have successfully run the ball despite many injuries to their offensive line. This week, the Brahmas’ offensive line will face a massive challenge against the Stallion’s defensive line.

Establishing the running game will be necessary for the Brahmas to control the game’s pace. They will also need to stay out of predictable long-yardage situations to give themselves a better chance to protect their quarterback from the Stallions’ pass rush. The matchup between the Stallions’ defensive line and the Brahmas’ offensive line will likely determine which team wins this game.

Game Analysis and Prediction

The Birmingham Stallions are the best team in the UFL until proven otherwise, and they have been dominant on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The Stallions have had close calls against the DC Defenders and the Saint Louis Battlehawks. For the Brahmas to have a chance to win this game and end the Stallions winning streak, they will need to contain Stallions quarterback Adrian Martinez defensively and get their passing game firing on all cylinders from start to finish. If the Brahmas can slow down Martinez and put points on the scoreboard on offense, they could be the first UFL team to defeat the Stallions.

Prediction: San Antonio Brahmas 22, Birmingham Stallions 20

Follow me on X: @AaronSauter7

author avatar
Aaron Sauter
Aaron Sauter is a 23-veteran high school football coach that is also an fan of all levels of football. He is especially interested in alternative football leagues like the CFL, UFL, and IFL. Aaron enjoys analyzing innovative schemes on offense and defense during his free time.

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