2009 UFL season

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2009 United Football League season
UFL-Premiere-2009.JPG
Regular season
Duration October 8, 2009 – November 20, 2009
2009 UFL Championship Game
Date November 27, 2009
Site Sam Boyd Stadium, Whitney, Nevada
Champion Las Vegas Locomotives
Runner-up Florida Tuskers
United Football League seasons
  2010 > 

The 2009 United Football League season -- referred to by the professional American football league as the UFL Premiere Season—was the inaugural season of the United Football League. The regular season featured 4 teams playing 6 games each (twice against each of the other teams), and both began and ended at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas (where the Las Vegas Locomotives defeated both the California Redwoods 30–17 on October 8 and the New York Sentinels 41–7 on November 20). Sam Boyd Stadium was also the site of the 2009 UFL Championship Game on November 27, a game that saw the Locomotives defeat the previously unbeaten Florida Tuskers 20–17 in overtime.

Pre-season and off-field preparations[edit]

Preparations for the UFL Premiere Season kicked off in the summer with player signings and a draft. Training camps for the players began on September 9 in Casa Grande, Arizona for the Western teams and September 10 in Orlando, Florida for the Eastern teams.[1]

The league announced its game schedule in the first week of August, a schedule that features games in teams' primary cities as well as secondary sites (a few of which are potential future UFL homes). Certain game sites were not finalized, however, and changes were made both before the schedule's release and after play had begun:

  • The season opener, originally planned for San Francisco, was played instead in Las Vegas.
  • James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, New York was considered a probable game venue before the schedule's release, but the league did not set a game for that site until moving the New York Sentinels' November 4 home game that was originally set for Citi Field in Flushing, a move that was announced on October 22.
  • Sacramento's Hornet Stadium and San Jose's Spartan Stadium were also mentioned as potential playing venues. The league did not choose Hornet Stadium for a site in 2009, and did not set a game for Spartan Stadium until moving the Redwoods' November 14 home game from AT&T Park, a move also announced on October 22. (The Redwoods would relocate permanently to Sacramento in 2010.)
  • The November 20th regular season finale, originally set for Home Depot Center in the Los Angeles area, a candidate for UFL expansion in 2010,[2] was moved back to Sam Boyd Stadium, the Las Vegas Locomotives' regular home. It was the first of the in-season venue change announcements made by the league, which publicized the change during week 2 of the season.[3]
  • Secondary market games were played as scheduled at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, where Florida defeated Las Vegas on October 30, and Rentschler Field in Hartford, where the Tuskers defeated New York on November 12. (The New York Sentinels moved to Hartford following the 2009 season.)[2]

During the week of August 10, the four team names and their uniform jerseys were revealed. Each of the uniforms (and the team logos and helmets that were unveiled on October 2)[4] incorporated the UFL's signature color scheme into their designs, including silver (primary color for the Las Vegas Locomotives), blue (Florida Tuskers), black (New York Sentinels), and lime green and white (California Redwoods). Each of the team jerseys had the same design template, complete with a horizontal arc across the top front that resembles the arc on the UFL's logo.

Regular season[edit]

The Florida Tuskers (right) against the Las Vegas Locomotives (left) at Tropicana Field on October 30

The UFL launched play on October 8, 2009, with the Las Vegas Locomotives defeating the California Redwoods 30–17 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Locos' kicker Graham Gano's 33-yard field goal with 3:20 remaining in the 1st quarter were the first points in league history, while a 5-yard run by Redwoods' quarterback Shane Boyd was the league's first touchdown. The Locos, who trailed 14–3 at one point in the 2nd quarter, rallied for the win via 2 touchdown passes by quarterback J. P. Losman.

The top team during the regular season was the Florida Tuskers; with a roster of players including quarterback Brooks Bollinger and receiver Taye Biddle, the Tuskers finished the season with a perfect 6–0 record, officially securing a berth in the UFL Championship Game with an October 30 win over Las Vegas.[5] The Locomotives clinched 2nd place and the other title game spot with a November 14 win over California.[6]

Attendance[edit]

Sparsely attended games were a noticeable part of the UFL's regular season, with announced crowds ranging from as low as 4,312 for California's November 14 home game in San Jose[7] to as high as 18,187 for the October 8 inaugural game in Las Vegas,[8] (though media observers at the game suggested the actual in-house attendance for that first game was considerably less).[9][10] The twelve regular-season contests drew a total of 116,132 fans, or an average of 9,678 a game. Florida led the league in average attendance (13,225), while California (5,836) and New York (6,637), hampered in part by shifts in game sites and competing in major markets with an NFL presence, brought up the rear in attendance average. Further, two New York home games were held the same nights as Games 2 and 6 of the 2009 World Series, featuring the New York Yankees.[11] Other factors—including the lack of a season ticket package, large-scale college football in Florida, the death of UConn football player Jasper Howard and Tim Lincecum's Cy Young Award press conference just prior to a Redwoods home game—hampered attendance severely.[12]

Though Florida Tuskers' coach Jim Haslett was among those expressing some disappointment[13] in the league's marketing approach for the season (a possible cause of low attendance), league commissioner Michael Huyghue was among league and team executives who countered that rather than heavily marketing the UFL, the league's premiere season was meant to be a "dress rehearsal" -- start small, promote modestly, emphasize quality of product, and take the results and lessons learned from the season in determining the league's plans for 2010 and beyond.[2][14][15][16]

Chart[edit]

Team Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Total Avg
California Redwoods 6,341 4,312 6,837 17,490 5,830
Florida Tuskers 11,203 12,021 11,354 34,578 11,526
Las Vegas Locomotives 18,187 12,160 13,306 43,653 14,551
New York Sentinels 10,818 4,392 5,201 20,411 6,804
League total 29,390 18,501 12,021 22,172 4,392 9,513 20,143 116,132
League avg 14,695 9,251 12,021 11,086 4,392 4,757 10,072 9,678

Team schedules[edit]

     Win      Loss

California Redwoods[edit]

Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Game site Attendance TV
Final score Team record
1 Thursday, October 8 9:00 p.m. ET at Las Vegas Locomotives L 17–30 0–1 Sam Boyd Stadium 18,187 Versus
2 Saturday, October 17 9:00 p.m. ET New York Sentinels W 24–7 1–1 AT&T Park 6,341 HDNet
3 Thursday, October 22 7:00 p.m. ET at Florida Tuskers L 7–34 1–2 Citrus Bowl 12,021 Versus
4 Thursday, October 29 7:00 p.m. ET at New York Sentinels W 20–13 2–2 Giants Stadium 10,818 Versus
5 Bye
6 Saturday, November 14 9:00 p.m. ET Las Vegas Locomotives L 10–16 2–3 Spartan Stadium 4,312 HDNet
7 Thursday, November 19 9:00 p.m. ET Florida Tuskers L 27–34 2–4 AT&T Park 6,837 Versus


Florida Tuskers[edit]

Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Game site Attendance TV
Final score Team record
1 Saturday, October 10 7:00 p.m. ET New York Sentinels W 35–13 1–0 Citrus Bowl 11,203 HDNet
2 Wednesday, October 14 9:00 p.m. ET at Las Vegas Locomotives W 29–15 2–0 Sam Boyd Stadium 12,160 Versus
3 Thursday, October 22 7:00 p.m. ET California Redwoods W 34–7 3–0 Citrus Bowl 12,021 Versus
4 Friday, October 30 7:00 p.m. ET Las Vegas Locomotives W 27–24 4–0 Tropicana Field 11,354 HDNet
5 Bye
6 Thursday, November 12 7:00 p.m. ET at New York Sentinels W 24–6 5–0 Rentschler Field 5,201 Versus
7 Thursday, November 19 9:00 p.m. ET at California Redwoods W 34–27 6–0 AT&T Park 6,837 Versus


Las Vegas Locomotives[edit]

Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Game site Attendance TV
Final score Team record
1 Thursday, October 8 9:00 p.m. ET California Redwoods W 30–17 1–0 Sam Boyd Stadium 18,187 Versus
2 Wednesday, October 14 9:00 p.m. ET Florida Tuskers L 15–29 1–1 Sam Boyd Stadium 12,160 Versus
3 Bye
4 Friday, October 30 7:00 p.m. ET at Florida Tuskers L 24–27 1–2 Tropicana Field 11,354 HDNet
5 Wednesday, November 4 7:00 p.m. ET at New York Sentinels W 41–10 2–2 James M. Shuart Stadium 4,392 Versus
6 Saturday, November 14 9:00 p.m. ET at California Redwoods W 16–10 3–2 Spartan Stadium 4,312 HDNet
7 Friday, November 20 9:00 p.m. ET New York Sentinels W 41–7 4–2 Sam Boyd Stadium 13,306 HDNet

New York Sentinels[edit]

Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Game site Attendance TV
Final score Team record
1 Saturday, October 10 7:00 p.m. ET at Florida Tuskers L 13–35 0–1 Citrus Bowl 11,203 HDNet
2 Saturday, October 17 9:00 p.m. ET at California Redwoods L 7–24 0–2 AT&T Park 6,341 HDNet
3 Bye
4 Thursday, October 29 7:00 p.m. ET California Redwoods L 13–20 0–3 Giants Stadium 10,818 Versus
5 Wednesday, November 4 7:00 p.m. ET Las Vegas Locomotives L 10–41 0–4 James M. Shuart Stadium 4,392 Versus
6 Thursday, November 12 7:00 p.m. ET Florida Tuskers L 6–24 0–5 Rentschler Field 5,201 Versus
7 Friday, November 20 9:00 p.m. ET at Las Vegas Locomotives L 7–41 0–6 Sam Boyd Stadium 13,306 HDNet

Standings[edit]

United Football League
W L T PCT PF PA STK
y-Florida Tuskers 6 0 0 1.000 183 92 W6
y-Las Vegas Locomotives 4 2 0 .667 167 100 W3
California Redwoods 2 4 0 .333 105 134 L2
New York Sentinels 0 6 0 .000 56 185 L6

y-denotes team advanced to 2009 UFL Championship Game

Championship game[edit]

The UFL's Premiere Season concluded on November 27, 2009 (one day after Thanksgiving) with the championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The matchup between the Florida Tuskers and Las Vegas Locomotives was dominated by defense until the 4th quarter, when a total of 24 points were scored, highlighted by 2 touchdown runs by Locos running back DeDe Dorsey. A 33-yard field goal by Graham Gano in overtime (the first overtime game in UFL history) gave Las Vegas the championship (and denied Florida an undefeated season) by a 20–17 score. The final score of the game was set up by a Locos takeaway deep in Tusker territory on Florida's first overtime possession.

Date Kickoff Teams Final score Game site Attendance TV
Friday, November 27 3:00 p.m. ET Las Vegas Locomotives vs. Florida Tuskers Las Vegas, 20–17 (OT) Sam Boyd Stadium 14,801 Versus

Statistics and awards[edit]

Statistical leaders[edit]

Note: Statistical numbers cover both the regular season and Championship Game

Team[17]
Points scored Florida Tuskers (234)
Total yards gained Florida Tuskers (2,604)
Rushing yards Las Vegas Locomotives (761)
Passing yards Florida Tuskers (1,898)
Fewest points allowed Las Vegas Locomotives (117)
Fewest total yards allowed California Redwoods (1,766)
Fewest rushing yards allowed California Redwoods (496)
Fewest passing yards allowed New York Sentinels (1,187)
Individual[18]
Scoring Graham Gano, Las Vegas (59 points)
Touchdowns DeDe Dorsey, Las Vegas (6 TDs)
Most field goals made Graham Gano, Las Vegas (13 FGs in 16 attempts)
Rushing yards Cory Ross, California (462)
Passing touchdowns Brooks Bollinger, Florida (16 TDs)
Passing yards Brooks Bollinger, Florida (1,825)
Pass receptions Taye Biddle, Florida (30)
Pass receiving yards Taye Biddle, Florida (525)
Punt returns Willie Andrews, Florida (14 returns for 164 yards, 11.7 yard average)
Kickoff returns B. J. Sams, California (22 returns for 375 yards, 17.0 yard average)
Interceptions Nick Turnbull, Las Vegas (3)
Punting Danny Baugher, Las Vegas (30 punts for 1,301 yards, 43.4 yard average)
Tackles Teddy Lehman, Las Vegas (43.5)
Sacks Darrion Scott, Florida (3.5)

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Training Camp Details". United Football League. 2009-09-09. Archived from the original on 11 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Doyle, Paul (2009-11-12). "Rentschler Field Hosts UFL Game Tonight". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  3. ^ Keefer, Case (2009-10-15). "Notebook: Tuskers QB Brooks Bollinger an early standout". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on 17 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  4. ^ "United Football League Reveals Team Logos for 'Premiere' Season". Yahoo! Finance. 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  5. ^ Henry, Chris (2009-10-31). "Tuskers clinch spot in UFL title game with win at the Trop". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  6. ^ "Las Vegas Locos Clinch Spot in UFL Championship Game with 16-10 Victory Over California Redwoods". United Football League. 2009-11-15. Retrieved 15 November 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Game Book: Las Vegas Locomotives vs. California Redwoods". 2009-11-14. Retrieved 15 November 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Game Book:California Redwoods vs. Las Vegas Locomotives". 2009-10-08. Retrieved 31 October 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ Carp, Steve (2009-10-09). "Locomotives ride late surge". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  10. ^ Keefer, Case (2009-10-09). "Las Vegas Locomotives win inaugural UFL game". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on 12 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  11. ^ Carp, Steve (2009-11-26). "Locos remain part of league's future". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on 29 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  12. ^ The Hard Knocks of the United Football League, UFL.com.
  13. ^ Hays, Chris (2009-10-10). "Q&A with Florida Tuskers head coach Jim Haslett". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  14. ^ Smith, Joe (2009-10-30). "United Football League enjoys a deep talent pool and camaraderie, but attendance disappoints". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on 3 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  15. ^ Nichols, Steve (2009-10-30). "Big vision for small league". WTVT. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  16. ^ Keefer, Case (2009-11-25). "UFL's first season served as "dress rehearsal". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on 1 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  17. ^ "UFL Stats: Team". United Football League. Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-02. [dead link]
  18. ^ "UFL Stats: Player". United Football League. Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-02. [dead link]
  19. ^ "United Football League announces season-end awards". United Football League. 2009-12-02. Archived from the original on 11 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-02. [dead link]

External links[edit]