FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A bowl victory that elevated Mississippi State’s win complete this season to 4 and No. 22 Tulsa’s failed try so as to add one other unlikely comeback to its spectacular assortment this season took a again seat to the melee that broke out Thursday shortly after the Armed Forces Bowl ended.
True freshman Will Rogers scored his first dashing landing of the season and had a 13-yard TD cross to guide Mississippi State previous Tulsa 28-26 in a sport that was tense from the beginning.
Minutes after it ended, the groups grew to become concerned in a big brawl on the sphere, with gamers punching and kicking each other. Tulsa coach Greg Montgomery mentioned sophomore security Kendarin Ray, who was helped off the sphere after being on the backside of a dogpile throughout a scrum, was handled for ”some type of concussion.”
”I am unsure what precisely brought about that,” mentioned Mississippi State coach Mike Leach, who referred to the altercation as a ”mosh pit.” ”It was one thing earlier than the sport, too. We have by no means had any drawback with that your complete season, so I can solely guess with out seeing the movie.”
In a video posted from Mississippi State’s locker room, Malik Heath joked about kicking a Tulsa participant within the facemask.
”The one factor I am going to say is our program, our guys, we’re a group which are going to face up for one another and we will battle,” Montgomery mentioned. ”We discuss religion, household, soccer, and household’s going to deal with household. We’re a group that has battled all yr lengthy. We battled once more at the moment. From that standpoint, our guys are going to proceed to guard one another and go from there.”
American Athletic Convention Commissioner Mike Aresco mentioned in a press release that the league will work with Tulsa to ”conduct a radical assessment of the altercation pursuant to our Convention Code of Sportsmanship course of and anticipate that the college will reply accordingly.”
Jo’quavious Marks scored a dashing landing on the sport’s first possession and Emmanuel Forbes returned an interception 90 yards for a landing for the Bulldogs (4-7), who completed the season with a second straight win in a sport performed at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium in chilly, wet circumstances.
Mississippi State’s 148 passing yards had been its fewest of the season. Marks’ 72 dashing yards and his 28-yard run for the landing had been probably the most in every class this season for the Bulldogs, whose 36-yard dashing common going into bowl play was the bottom within the FBS.
Forbes’ third-quarter landing was initially known as again on an unlawful blocking penalty, however the Huge Ten Convention officiating crew reversed its ruling to a penalty on Tulsa.
Deneric Prince and Corey Taylor II scored dashing touchdowns, Zach Smith had a 15-yard TD cross to Keylon Stokes and Zack Lengthy kicked area targets of 27 and 33 yards for Tulsa (6-3, No. 24 CFP), which erased 4 double-digit deficits this season.
Smith was 26 for 46 passing for 347 yards with two interceptions. Tulsa outgained Mississippi State in complete offense 484 yards to 271, however the Bulldogs received 138 priceless kickoff return yards from Lideatrick ”Tulu” Griffin.
Tulsa pulled to inside 21-19 with 12:30 left on Taylor’s 5-yard run, however Smith’s two-point conversion cross supposed for Stokes was damaged up ultimately zone. Mississippi State answered with Rogers’ 13-yard throw to Griffin to go forward 28-19.
Smith’s 15-yard scoring cross to Stokes got here with 1:23 to play, and Tulsa did not get better the following onside kick. On the play, Mississippi State’s Erroll Thompson leveled Tulsa’s Ryan Nixon and was penalized 15 yards for taunting.
”It is simply dumb,” Leach mentioned. ”There was some stuff going forwards and backwards in the course of the course of the sport. With any of it on our facet, I do not need to see it as a result of I really feel like I received shorted, what, 15 yards, 30 yards on offers the place if we may hold our mouth shut, .”
Throughout the brawl, Mississippi State’s De’Monte Russell, in road garments beneath his jersey, ripped the helmet off Tulsa’s TieNeal Martin and appeared to land a punch to Martin’s head.
”Coach Leach addressed us as a group after the sport, and we’ll deal with that in-house,” Kobe Jones mentioned. ”It was emotional and a mishap. We’ve to be higher and extra disciplined.”
Tulsa: A group that was picked to complete ninth within the 11-team American Athletic Convention performed within the league championship sport, shedding to Cincinnati on a last-second area purpose. The Golden Hurricane will wait to see in the event that they end within the closing AP Prime 25 of the season for the primary time since 2010.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs performed of their school-record eleventh consecutive bowl because of pandemic qualification exemptions. The 4 wins are the Bulldogs’ fewest since 2008, the final of Sylvester Croom’s 5 seasons teaching in Starkville.
Tulsa: Among the many seniors who’ve dedicated to returning in 2021 are operating again Shamari Brooks, fifth in program profession dashing regardless of lacking all of 2020 with an ACL damage, and free security TieNeal Martin. Subsequent season, the Golden Hurricane will go to Oklahoma State and Ohio State.
Mississippi State: For all of Leach’s Air Raid offenses at varied stops, Rogers was his first true freshman quarterback. The Bulldogs’ Southeastern Convention house schedule ought to embody visits by Alabama and Mississippi.
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