Mississippi State and Tulsa players were involved in a large fight after MSU’s 28-26 Armed Forces Bowl win on Thursday.
The game was preceded by trash talk and was chippy throughout. And the fight was directly preceded by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Mississippi State on a late onside kick as Tulsa tried to mount a comeback. Then chaos ensued as the teams met on the field after the game.
You can see multiple punches thrown throughout the fight and Mississippi State players going after helmetless Tulsa safety Tieneal Martin.
The fight happened as ESPN had shifted its coverage to its postgame studio show. The network then cut back to live footage of the fight on the field. The fight had to be broken up by law enforcement officers who were stationed on the field for security.
“Don’t do it anymore,” Mississippi State coach Mike Leach said when he was asked what he would tell his team about the fight. “It’s just dumb. And then there was some of that stuff going back and forth during the course of the game and which any of it on our side I don’t want to see because I feel that I got shorted 15, 30 yards on deals where if we just keep our mouth shut [there are no penalties].”
While Leach said he didn’t want his players fighting after the game, he also didn’t seem too concerned about it either. Maybe he didn’t see what viewers saw at home. Those watching on TV saw Mississippi State’s Malik Heath kick a Tulsa player before running away.
A video posted to social media after the game showed Heath and Mississippi State players in the locker room gleefully reliving his role in the altercation.
“This is a football game so we’re not going to be tearing cloth over this deal,” Leach said before leaving the field. “Somebody went to a football game and somebody got hit. There’s a point where I’m not going to lose my mind over it. I just don’t like that we’re undisciplined in some situations where if you control yourself mentally and emotionally you put yourself in a better position.”
Tulsa safety Kendarin Ray had to be helped to the locker room by team staff after the fight.
It’s the biggest postgame bowl fight since the infamous Miami Beach Bowl brawl between Memphis and BYU in 2014.
Players were punished after that game by their respective schools and it will be no surprise if and when Tulsa and Mississippi State players are disciplined for their actions during this fight.
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