Order the book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
Arizona 38 at Birmingham 281984 Week 15 - Sunday, June 3, 1984
Attendance: 32,500, TV: ABC
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Coach George Allen got the upset win he predicted as his Arizona Wranglers outscored Birmingham 38-28 to stay alive in the race for a berth in the United States Football League playoffs.
"We're not going to lose," Allen said last week, and the Wranglers backed him up by upsetting the Stallions Sunday with 32,500 fans looking on.
"This was unquestionably our biggest win," Allen said. "We came in here 10-point underdogs and beat them in their own backyard by 10 points. We showed a lot of character, toughness and guts."
"I felt like we had to do it or die and then they'd bury us in a ditch," Allen said in the dressing room. "If we win the final three games, we will go to the playoffs."
Arizona now is 7-8 in the league's Pacific Division, while the Stallions, 12-3 in the Southern Division, already had a playoff spot assured.
Despite the loss, said Stallions Coach Rollie Dotsch, "it's not the end of the world, but it's always depressing when you lose."
Arizona's Greg Landry passed for three touchdowns and Tim Spencer ran for two, including an 81-yard jaunt that set a league record, as the Wranglers piled up 416 yards in offense.
Landry completed 12 passes for 185 yards to give him 2,847 for the season.
The Wranglers moved to a 17-7 halftime lead on a 32-yard field goal by Frank Corral and Landry's 25-yard pass to Mack Boatner.
The Stallions took the lead in the third period on a three-yard dive by Leon Perry and Cliff Stoudt's 21-yard toss to Jim Smith.
Arizona went ahead 24-21 early in the fourth period on Landry's 17-yard pass to Lenny Willis and, after Joe Ehrmann recovered a Stoudt fumble on the 15, Landry threw to Trumaine Johnson in the end zone.
Birmingham opened the scoring after Ricky Ray intercepted a Landry pass. Ray returned it 24 yards, with a 15-yard face mask penalty, giving the Stallions possession at the 15. Five plays later, Stoudt passed to Ken Toler for the score.
The Stallions scored late on a 10-yard Stoudt pass to Joey Jones, but failed to recover an on-sides kick and Spencer ran 43 yards from scrimmage to score for the Wranglers and give him 177 yards on 12 carries.
Stoudt connected on 21 for 225 yards, but was sacked seven times for 60 yards in losses.
Joe Cribbs, playing before a home crowd for the first time since he ended a two-week walkout from the Stallions in a contract dispute, got 110 yards on 16 runs. He now has 1,280 yards for the season, best in the league.
Penalties hurt both teams with Arizona assessed 105 yards on 15 calls and Birmingham 79 yards on nine.