The Miami Beach brawl (step-by-step summary)

banner_brawlThe inaugural Miami Beach bowl was certainly a memorable football game.  It went down to the wire and then some, with Memphis pulling out a spectacular double overtime win.  But it won’t be remembered for the play on the field.  College football fans will be joined with countless others in remembering the 2014 bowl game for what happened after the game: The Miami Beach brawl.  If you haven’t seen the footage yet (or even if you have), here is a compilation video of all the recorded footage.

So what happened? Obviously this was an intense game and emotions were high. After the game concluded the brawl almost immediately ensued and several players from both sides are at fault. Here is a timeline of what occurred as best as I can piece things together. If you can fill in the gaps please comment below, I will add video and commentary as it becomes available.

1. As the game concluded and Memphis concluded their first 10-win season in 80+ years most of the team engaged in a celebratory dogpile. A few players, however, skipped the celebration and went straight to the BYU sideline to taunt Cougar players. Correction: fans at the game have noted that Memphis fans were also located directly behind the Cougar bench (weird stadium setup). There is a good chance those 5-10 Memphis players were simply and innocently going to celebrate with family and friends.

2. The first physical act was Tejan Koroma (BYU #56) pushed Josh Augusta (Memphis #97) in the back. To retaliate “a Memphis player threw the first punch”.

Koroma and Augusta continue to go at each other with teammates pouring in to help/separate.

3. Lots of fighting happening all at once… Players and coaches tried to separate the fighting players but a few isolated fights/dogpiles persisted.

4. Kai Nacua throws an empty punch and gets decked.

5. More fighting.

6. Nacua (BYU #12) sucker punches Isadore (Memphis #94) on his way back to the BYU sideline.

7. C. Johnson (Memphis #68) swings helmet at Tejan Koroma (BYU #56).

8. Players are finally evacuated and Christian Stewart’s face shows he was in on the action.  Correction: his bloody nose came earlier in the game and it could be his cheeks are simply rosey.  We don’t know if Stewart was involved in any of the fighting.

So whose fault was all of this? From the video footage we know that at least two Cougars were heavily involved in the fighting (Koroma and Nacua) and that at least two Tigers were also heavily involved (Augusta and Brady). But was this all a result of inadvertent bumping that led to the quickly escalated brawl? Too early to tell. Have any details? Put them in the comment section below.

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  • John Perry

    Koroma’s was not the first physical act. Too bad you cannot back up that clip, but he is pushed in the back by a Memphis player into #97. The clip catches the very end of that first push, which propels Koroma down and forward a bit into #97. This version of the events is supported by Koroma’s next reflex action: He turns directly around to see who pushed him, exposing his back to #97 who then attacks him.

    I doubt very much that Christian Stewart was in on the action, as you put it. He had a bloody nose from earlier in the game when he was hit while sliding at the end of a run. And his cheeks are normally red like that.

  • Topher

    The camera’s missed the first action, which was reportedly a Memphis player getting in Stew’s face to taunt him after the pick, for which Keroma pushed and then was ambushed by several Memphis players, including one swinging a helmet, and taken to the ground and kicked. Several byu players went to his defense (including Wesley and Fusi) to get the Memphis players off Keroma and there was a lot of pushing both ways in front of that action. Things could have escalated worse there had Lapuaho and a few byu players not stood ground and just pushed the Memphis players in that area back to their bench. Promps also to a small white Memphis player who was doing that same.

    A side action breaks out when I think the Memphis head-butt guy gets involved and then Nucua, Langi, Jackson, and a few byu others let the emotions get the best of them and go in swinging and takedown mode. A few players from Memphis also were swinging. Nucua takes a shot and then later responds with an attempted blow to the back of the head.

    At the end of the brawl, byu players are even getting into it with themselves, or at least Alleto and Houk are, not sure what that was about, but they had to be separated by Coach TJ and others.

    I don’t believe Stewart was heavily involved in the fighting part, could be wrong about that.

    Matich said it best on ESPN. BYU players saw one of their own being taken down and stomped on and had to go to his defense. Then Memphis responded and a few hotheads on both sides let emotions get the best of them and started swinging.