United Football League opens with 1st game featuring USFL and XFL champions

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The United Football League was announced as the premier spring football league out of the merger between the USFL and the XFL nearly three months ago.

On Saturday afternoon, the first year of the UFL begins with the champions of each league in 2023 meeting to kick off Week 1.

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J'Mar Smith at the USFL Championship

Quarterback J’Mar Smith of the Birmingham Stallions greets fans after the game against the New Jersey Generals at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 15, 2023. (Andy Lyons/USFL/Getty Images)

The Birmingham Stallionswho won back-to-back titles, will face off against the Arlington Renegades, who topped the DC Defenders in the XFL Championship.

Skip Holtz will lead the Stallions for the third consecutive season and is returning some familiar players in quarterback J’Mar Smith and running back CJ Marable. The team also welcomed Matt Corral and Adrian Martinez to the quarterback room as well.

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Bob Stoops is the head coach of the Renegades. Luis Perez returned as the starting quarterback. He had three touchdown passes in the XFL Championship last season. Wide receiver Tyler Vaughns, who had a touchdown catch in that game, is also back.

Quarterback Luis Perez at the USFL Championship

Arlington Renegades quarterback Luis Perez looks on after the XFL Championship game between the Renegades and the DC Defenders at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on May 13, 2023. (Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Stallions and Renegades kick off at 1 pm ET on FOX in Arlington, Texas.

Four teams from each former league were pulled to form the new one.

The USFL Division is composed of the Stallions, the Houston Roughnecks (formerly the Gamblers), the Memphis Showboats and the Michigan Panthers. The XFL Division features the Renegades, the Defenders, the San Antonio Brahmas and the St. Louis BattleHawks.

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The rest of the Week 1 schedule looks like this.

  • March 30: BattleHawks vs. Panthers (4 p.m. ET; FOX)
  • March 31: Defenders vs. Brahmas (Noon ET; ESPN)
  • March 31: Showboats vs. Roughnecks (3 p.m. ET; ESPN)

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