The inaugural Miami Beach Bowl on Monday night turned out to be a great matchup between the Memphis Tigers and the BYU Cougars. In fact, what was a fantastic game between the two football programs had a remarkable finish. With Memphis trailing by seven points late in the fourth, they managed to put a drive together that resulted in the game-tying touchdown. The Tigers (10-3) eventually edged the Cougars (8-5), 55-48 in double-overtime, after cornerback DaShaughn Terry’s interception sealed BYU’s fate.
What happened next was something to behold — an all-out postgame brawl ensued towards the middle of the field. Players on the opposing teams were grabbing and punching each other; some with helmets on, and some without. Many were bloodied and beaten after the altercation had finally ended. After seeing guys swinging their helmets near helmet-less players, it is a miracle that someone did not get severely injured. Instead, the ridiculous brawl overshadowed a terrific holiday bowl game.
The athletic directors for both Memphis and BYU will now review video over the next few days in order to take appropriate disciplinary measures. Both ADs, Tom Bowen of Memphis and Tom Holmoe of BYU, handled the matter with grace. In fact, BYU’s Holmoe apologized to fans via Twitter, stating, “We expect better of our athletes, even in the face of a difficult loss. We intend to fully review this matter. I apologize to Cougar Nation.”
At the end of the night, the Memphis Tigers hoisted the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl trophy over their heads with smiles of happiness and joy. However, it was hard not to notice the blood running down the victorious players’ faces.
Let us hope that another act of stupidity stays out of the rest of the bowl season, and that an eventual national champion will be crowned in peace on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
*Section Photo credit to Gene Sweeney, Jr., Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports