USFL Week 5 Players of the Week
Players come and go, teams rise and fall, but one thing has stayed constant through Week 5 of the USFL's inaugural season: The Birmingham Stallions.
After a dominant 30-17 victory over the Philadelphia Stars on Sunday, the Stallions (5-0) remain the league's only unbeaten team, and it seems like they find new players to lead the way and new methods for winning each week.
"Let me just say how proud I am of this team," head coach Skip Holtz said after the game. "They continue to find ways to win football games, and there is an art to that."
Given this, it should come as no surprise that the Stallions dominated the Players of the Week awards for Week 5, winning on both offense and defense.
Let's take a look.
Offensive Player of the Week: CJ Marable, RB, Birmingham Stallions
The Stallions went for a keep-away strategy against the Stars in Week 5, controlling the ball for more than 38 minutes. Marable was the player who made the biggest impact in that regard, churning out 114 rushing yards on 23 carries.
His 29-yard touchdown jaunt in the third quarter gave the Stallions a 21-17 lead they would not relinquish, and by the end of the day, he ranked fifth in the league in rushing yards (303).
He'll be paired with former Alabama star and recent signee Bo Scarbrough moving forward, potentially giving the Stallions a formidable one-two punch.
"I think both [Scarbrough] and CJ are going to play a role," Holtz said.
Defensive Player of the Week: DeMarquis Gates, LB, Birmingham Stallions
Birmingham linebacker Scooby Wright won this award last week, but he was out Sunday. That was no problem for the Stallions, though, as Gates stepped up with a dominant performance.
Gates set the tone for the Stallions' defense with four tackles, including 1.5 sacks. His timely strip-sack of Philadelphia quarterback Case Cookus was a key moment in Birmingham's victory.
Gates was also Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3 — with 10 tackles, a half-sack, a tackle for loss, an interception and two pass defenses — making him the first two-time winner of the award.
He has four sacks on the season, a total that trails only that of Houston's Chris Odom (5.5) and New Orleans' Davin Bellamy (4.5).
Special-Teams Player of the Week: Ramiz Ahmed, K, Pittsburgh Maulers
The Maulers earned their first win of the season last week with a 21-20 triumph over the Gamblers — and Ahmed was a big reason for it.
The 26-year-old out of Nevada made three of his four field-goal attempts, including a 51-yarder, to put Pittsburgh in position to rally late and earn the victory as time expired.