In Saturday’s Keystone State Battle, the Philadelphia Stars offense looked out of this world, rolling up 31 points. In particular, the Bryan Scott-to-Maurice Alexander connection shined, with Scott completing 26 of his 36 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Maurice Alexander caught eight of those aerials for 87 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
However, the Stars run game has lacked spark in the first two weeks of the season, totaling 118 yards on 37 carries. If you take away Darnell Holland’s 42-yard jaunt against the Breakers, that total is only a paltry 36 carries for 76 yards, barely over two yards per carry.
The Stars may have to think creatively to solve their ground game woes and expand the role of one of their top targets. Maurice Alexander has the potential to improve the Stars run game if they use him in the Wildcat.
Alexander started his college career as a quarterback at FIU and ironically, the man he backed up, Alex McGough is also in the USFL, playing for the Birmingham Stallions. Alexander struggled as a passer in his career at FIU, throwing only two touchdowns and eight interceptions, but excelled as a runner.
In his four years with the Panthers, Alexander gained 416 yards on 79 non-sack rushes for a 5.3-yard average (keep in mind, the NCAA counts sacks as rush yards). Alexander was also incredibly efficient as 37 of those 79 carries went for five yards or more for an opportunity rate of 46.8%. (See the definition of opportunity rate here). Additionally, Alexander was one of the country’s more exciting punt returners, averaging 16.5 yards per return on 35 runbacks. The more times the Stars can get the ball in Alexander’s hands, the better.
On Sunday, we saw the Tampa Bay Bandits dabble with former Florida State/Auburn/FAU quarterback John Franklin III in the Wildcat formation, with Franklin III gaining 18 yards on four carries. Putting Alexander in the Wildcat can open up the playbook for the Stars as he is an obvious threat to pass on top of his elusiveness.
After two weeks of limited success on the ground, the Stars should think creatively and put the ball in their biggest playmaker’s hands. Doing so may make their offense the most explosive one in the Magic City.
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