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USFL MVP favorite Alex McGough has Stallions on verge of making championship game

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The Birmingham Stallions are on the cusp of creating it again to the USFL Championship this season, as solely the New Orleans Breakers stand of their manner of a second consecutive division title.

Birmingham completed the common season with eight wins and are at the moment on a five-game profitable streak heading into Sunday’s South Division Championship. Birmingham has a plus-91 level differential and haven’t misplaced a sport whereas they’ve been on the street. Lots of the success has to do with perennial MVP candidate and All-USFL First Staff choice quarterback Alex McGough.

McGough began the season backing up J’Mar Smith, who led the Stallions to the championship throughout the 2022 season. Nonetheless, Smith was dominated out for the remainder of the season with a finger damage suffered again in April, and it has been McGough’s staff the remainder of the best way. Sarcastically, McGough began final season as QB1 earlier than he received injured and Smith got here in to assist lead the Stallions to the title.

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Alex McGough looks to pass

Alex McGough, #2 of the Birmingham Stallions, makes an attempt a spot throughout the third quarter towards the Memphis Showboats at Simmons Financial institution Liberty Stadium on June 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Alex Slitz/USFL/Getty Pictures for USFL)

The 27-year-old former FIU standout emerged as the favourite to win the USFL MVP as he leads the league with 20 passing touchdowns to associate with 2,104 passing yards.

“It was form of a rollercoaster in the beginning not figuring out how a lot time I used to be going to get to play and splitting time. I believe that I ready all offseason to play, and I ready offseason mentally and bodily. I believe that it’s beginning to present,” McGough advised Fox Information Digital in a current interview.

“I couldn’t have carried out any of this alone. I couldn’t have been All-First Staff or Participant of the Weeks or something if it wasn’t for the O-line, the receivers and the working backs which might be serving to me out. Everybody has to do with each accolade that I’ve obtained. It’s the staff that ought to get the award. And that’s what we’re making an attempt to do. We’re making an attempt to get that championship trophy on the finish of the 12 months.”

McGough was one in all 4 gamers who earned All-USFL honors. Tight finish Jace Sternberger, punter Cody Wadman and lengthy snapper Ryan Langan joined him.

The staff facet is a part of the rationale why the Stallions sit on the doorstep of a second USFL Championship look.

Alex McGough and Greg Reaves

Greg Reaves, #41 of the Memphis Showboats, and Alex McGough, #2 of the Birmingham Stallions, change phrases throughout the third quarter at Simmons Financial institution Liberty Stadium on June 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Alex Slitz/USFL/Getty Pictures for USFL)

“I really feel good,” McGough mentioned heading into the division championship. “I believe we’ve been taking part in fairly nicely on offense. I believe we have to cease turning the ball over as a lot. I believe we’ve fumbled, and I’ve had interceptions that we have to cease hurting ourselves, however I really feel assured going into the sport.”

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The Stallions needed to beat the Breakers final season to get to the championship sport, too. Birmingham managed to win 31-17 after which topped the Philadelphia Stars to win the title. This season, their sequence was tied 1-1 as New Orleans gained the primary sport 45-31, however Birmingham received the second, 24-20.

Alex McGough signs a USFL sign

Alex McGough, #2 of the Birmingham Stallions, indicators autographs for followers following a sport towards the Philadelphia Stars at Protecting Stadium on June 3, 2023 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Alex Slitz/USFL/Getty Pictures for USFL)

“I believe we simply received to play our sport on each side of the ball. I’m assured sufficient to say that if we play our sport, then I don’t suppose anyone can beat us,” he advised Fox Information Digital. “So, we simply received to attempt to go on the market and execute our gamers and govt the sport plan and simply play a extremely bodily sport and hopefully go on the market and get the win.”

McGough represents the rising variety of gamers who’ve gotten one other probability at skilled soccer after failing to latch onto a 53-man NFL roster. He was a seventh-round draft decide of the Seattle Seahawks in 2018. He then bounced between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans earlier than discovering a house with the Stallions within the USFL.

Now, he’s two wins away from a second title.

“I believe the primary factor is simply to play once more and that’s what this chance and this league is,” he mentioned. “And I believe everyone ought to attempt it out.”

Alex McGough smiles

Alex McGough, #2 of the Birmingham Stallions, on the sidelines throughout the second half within the sport towards the Houston Gamblers at Simmons Financial institution Liberty Stadium on June 11, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. ( Justin Ford/USFL/Getty Pictures for USFL)

The Stallions and Breakers will do battle for the USFL Championship at Protecting Stadium in Birmingham on Sunday. It’s the first time in 38 years the town of Birmingham would be the web site of a playoff sport. The winner will play the North Division champion – both the Michigan Panthers or the Pittsburgh Maulers.

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The sport may be seen on FOX at 7 p.m. ET.

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