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Ravell Call/Deseret News

Fight breaks out after Miami Beach Bowl between BYU, Memphis

By Robert Jackson | Posted - Dec. 22, 2014 at 8:55 p.m.


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MIAMI — Fans expecting to see a postseason game between BYU and Memphis not only witnessed two extra periods of football in a tightly contested aerial shootout, but an outright brawl as well.

Just moments after Memphis intercepted BYU quarterback Christian Stewart to beat the Cougars 55-48 in double overtime, several fights broke out between players scattered across the field.

As Memphis players celebrated their win, tempers flared, and eventually pushing and shoving turned into outright punches thrown - some unexpected blows to the back of players' heads.

The brawl continued for several minutes as players, coaches and administrations from both teams tried to restore order.

Videos shot on the field show Memphis offensive lineman Chase Johnson using his helmet as a weapon against a BYU player, while another shows a BYU defensive back Kai Nacua throwing a punch to the back of the head of a defenseless Memphis Tiger.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe took to Twitter afterwards.

"We expect better of our athletes, even in the face of a difficult loss," Holmoe wrote.

"We intend to fully review this matter. I apologize to Cougar Nation."

The game itself, the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl, was a back-and-forth contest in which both teams traded punches, racking up over 900 combined yards of total offense.

After sixty minutes of play, both teams were tied at 45.

And even after the first overtime, the game was still tied, this time at 48.

However, instead of remembering this great, entertaining college football game for what it was - an instant, down to the wire classic - it is instead overshadowed by an unfortunate brawl between the teams.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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