Celebrating a bowl victory is supposed to be a proud moment. Unfortunately, Memphis and BYU turned in one of the uglier postgame bowl moments seen in years. After Memphis picked off a pass from BYU quarterback Christian Stewart to seal a wild 55-48 double-overtime victory, joy quickly turned ugly as players from both teams started exchanging punches instead of postgame handshakes.
Helmets were thrown and sucker punches were seen as well. It was eerily reminiscent of another college football game played in Miami years ago between Miami and FIU.
Memphis guy who swung his helmet. https://t.co/DwlHadnZ59
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 22, 2014
More from the brawl https://t.co/MGI3H2BssG
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) December 22, 2014
Cheap shot of the year! https://t.co/8NCKgl0t2N
— Chris Haynes (@CnizzleMD) December 22, 2014
Sadly, the events that took place after the game will stain the memory of what was a wildly entertaining bowl game. Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch passed for over 300 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for three more touchdowns, and Memphis needed every one of them. BYU’s Stewart passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns, but was picked off three times, including the game-winning play. Neither offense was able to protect the football, despite having a field day for much of the afternoon. BYU and Memphis combined for nine turnovers.
Memphis had also blown two separate double-digit leads, and BYU was unable to keep Memphis off the scoreboard in the final minute of regulation. The game was back-and-forth from start to finish, but the first Miami Beach Bowl will instead be remembered more for the unfortunate postgame scene as the teams went after each other on the field.