Today was a dark day for NCAA football. A bowl game turned into a brawl that seriously injured one player.
The Armed Forces Bowl ended with a bang when the Tulsa and Mississippi State Teams started fighting each other. A great take on the cause of the fight came from former college football player Joe Burkhardt who said the refs didn’t control the game and let the players on both sides get out of hand:
Burkhardt said: “Former college football player here. Seen/been in many fights during or after football games. Was in one football brawl that was so bad, crowd/police were throwing down. Many things led to the ugly end of the Armed Forces Bowl between Tulsa and Mississippi State. But in my experience, the #1 cause of brawls is virtually always game officials failing to control the game by missing obvious penalties DURING THE GAME.This usually includes multiple, egregious unnecessary roughness and/or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. In this case, members of the two teams were jawing and mixing it up before the game and in between almost every play. Game culminated in an on-sides kick with a clear, brutal targeting penalty—that left a player lying on the field, having difficulty breathing. No penalty. People say “Let them play,” but if officials don’t set boundaries, then the players will. I’m not condoning the fight at all, just explaining. Officials: Do better…”
The melee was caught on video below:
Mississippi State had a 3-7 record and beat a team ranked #24; then this happened:
Holy shit!!! The Tulsa Vs. Mississippi st game fight was crazy 🤯🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/iEwAowFM0x
— Fade Me Casually (@FCasually) December 31, 2020
Mississippi State & Tulsa went at it after the Armed Forces Bowl…. pic.twitter.com/I5X3N2jX4C
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 31, 2020
It’s too bad that a fight is taking away from the fact that Mississippi State ended their season beating a ranked team in a bowl game.
A massive brawl broke out at the end of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl between Tulsa and Mississippi State. pic.twitter.com/zfaq912SWU
— ESPN (@espn) December 31, 2020
This is a cowardly move:
What a disgusting finish to the Tulsa vs Mississippi State game. #NCAAFootball
#4 of Miss St (Malik Heath) kicked #7 Tieneal Martin (I believe) in the head and ran off. I don't know who started the brawl but Malik Heath is a fucking coward! pic.twitter.com/rqm26wdATH
— J M (@Irish_Gangster) December 31, 2020