The New Jersey Generals have been hoping to make an early statement against the defending USFL champions.

The failed.

The Generals suffered a 27-ten loss to the Birmingham Stallions on Saturday evening at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala. in the season opener for each teams.

The Generals lost just standard-season game final season and it was to the Stallions.

The two teams have been each 9-1 in the 2022 standard season and appeared to be on a collision course for a rematch in the USFL championship game, but New Jersey fell to the Philadelphia Stars, who wound up losing to Birmingham in the final.

And the Generals couldn’t get revenge in this one particular.

Regardless of an up-and-down very first half New Jersey had the game tied at ten late in the second half. Plus, the Stallions lost their beginning quarterback J’Mar Smith to an injury to his non-throwing hand. He was ten-for-15 for 160 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Birmingham backup quarterback Alex McCough was forced to enter the game for the final play of the very first half when Smith suffered the injury right after engineering an additional extended drive deep into Generals’ territory.

In his very first play, McCough threw a six-yard touchdown pass to tight finish Jace Sternberger to give the Stallions a 17-ten halftime lead. McCough completed the game 7-for-11 for 68 yards with one particular passing and one particular rushing touchdown.

Interestingly, McGough’s game-winning overall performance was a function reversal of final year’s Stallions season opener. In that contest — a 28-24 win more than the Generals — Smith replaced an injured McGough, who was then the team’s starter, and led Birmingham to the victory.

Smith, even so, didn’t seemed crushed and was content McGough was capable to lead the Stallions to victory, telling FOX Sports’ Brock Huard on the sideline that it didn’t matter which quarterback was in the game.

“That’s my guy, man,” he mentioned. “We’re each competitors and we want to see the most effective from every single other.”

The Generals got off to a rough start off when tight finish Braedon Bowman — who had a short stint with the Jets in 2016 — lost a fumble right after getting a pass from quarterback De’Andre Johnson (four-for-13 for 29 yards) in the opening minutes of the very first quarter.

The Stallions turned the turnover into a touchdown on the subsequent play when Smith threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Austin Watkins to give Birmingham a 7- lead.

The Generals tied it up in the second quarter right after quarterback Dakota Prukop, who had replaced Johnson, scored on a two-yard touchdown run on a developed draw. Prukop, who was 13-for-17 for 148 yards seemed to have much more accomplishment than Johnson, but nonetheless couldn’t get the Generals in the finish zone sufficient.

The Generals, who are coached by Mike Riley, employed a two-quarterback method all through the game, just like they did final season.

Riley mentioned the Generals played nicely at occasions but gave up also a lot of plays and “lost the predicament game.”

“We had our possibilities,” mentioned Riley, who was the USFL’s Coach of the Year final season. “Give them credit for producing the plays they necessary to make in the red zone.

“I feel we have a superior football group, but we didn’t play nicely sufficient regularly.”

The Stallions regained the lead later in the second when Brandon Aubrey hit a chip-shot 22-yard field target right after Birmingham’s drive stalled.

The Generals had a opportunity to take the lead for the very first time, but Johnson, who was place back into the game, was stopped ahead of the target line attempting to score on a quarterback sweep. The play was a close one particular, but was upheld right after replay critique.

New Jersey had an additional golden chance to take the lead when DJ Daniel intercepted Smith’s pass to set the Generals’ up at Birmingham’s 15-yard line. But they had to settle for a 25-yard field target by Nick Sciba, which tied the game up at ten.

The Stallions place the game away in the third quarter. Initial, they recovered a Prukop fumble at the New Jersey 45.

A couple of plays later McCough scored on a 29-yard touchdown run to give the Stallions a 24-ten lead.

Aubrey kicked a 49-yard field target in the fourth quarter for the Stallions to total the scoring.

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