Tempers boiled over along the sideline after the Bulldogs’ 28-26 win as seemingly every player jumped into the violent melee.
Video of the brawl show players from both sides throwing punches and even a few are seen delivering kicks. Coaching staffs of both teams were powerless to stop it and Fort Worth security and law enforcement personnel were on the field trying to calm the situation.
Tulsa safety Kendarin Ray was helped off the field after reportedly being hit in the head by a helmet. Golden Hurricane coach Philip Montgomery said Ray is being treated for a concussion.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs and Tulsa Golden Hurricane teams fight after Thursday’s game
Tulsa’s Reggie Ellis (15) and Mississippi State linebacker Aaron Brule (3) exchange blows
It remains unclear what ignited the fight. ‘It’s dumb,’ Mississippi State coach Mike Leach (left) said afterwards. ‘Now where the dumb started, I’m not entirely sure.’ Tulsa coach Phillip Montgomery (right) did not know what started the fight either
Mississippi State offensive lineman LaQuinston Sharp (63) shoves Tulsa offensive lineman Gabe Cantu (50) while a Tulsa staff member attempts to pull them apart
That same staffer was also seen holding back 305-pound Tulsa lineman Tiller Bucktrot (No. 68)
Bulldogs wide receiver Malik Heath was seen kicking a Tulsa player during the fight and immediately running away from the scene. His Mississippi State teammate, linebacker De’Monte Russell, and Tulsa safety TieNeal Martin also exchanged punches.
However, an exact blow-by-blow synopsis of the fighting might be impossible because nearly every player appeared to be involved in one way or another.
It remains unclear what ignited the fight.
‘I’m not sure what exactly caused that,’ Mississippi State coach Mike Leach said afterwards. ‘There was something before the game, too. We never had any problem with that the entire season, so you know, I can only guess without seeing the film.
Tulsa safety Kendarin Ray was helped off the field after reportedly being hit in the head by a helmet. Head coach Philip Montgomery said Ray is being treated for a concussion
‘But prior to this game, we’ve never had any trouble with that.
‘It’s dumb,’ Leach continued. ‘The root of it’s dumb, no matter what the root of it is. The root of it’s dumb and the continuation of it’s dumb. I would have that solidly in the category of dumb.
‘Now where the dumb started, I’m not entirely sure.’
Leach did say he saw some Tulsa players circled around his team during warmups, but wasn’t sure what, if anything, was said.
‘I haven’t seen enough film or anything like that to entirely let us off the hook on this thing by any stretch,’ Leach told reporters.
Montgomery did not know what started the fight either, but did say his players were supporting each other.
‘The one thing I’ll say is our program, our guys, we’re a team that is going to stand up for each other and we’re going to battle,’ Montgomery said.
‘We talked about faith, family, football and family is going to take care of family. We’re a team that has battled all year long. We battled again today and from that standpoint our guys are going to continue to protect each other and go from there.’
Mississippi State linebacker De’Monte Russell (9) and Tulsa safety TieNeal Martin (7) fight after time runs out in the Armed Forces Bowl
Mississippi State players circle around Tulsa’s Tiller Bucktrot after Thursday’s game
Coaches, managers, and trainers from both teams were seen struggling to stop the fight
Players from both teams were seen punching and kicking each other after Thursday’s game
Eventually police ran onto the field and managed to break up both teams
Bulldogs linebacker Aaron Brule gets knocked down by Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith
A trio of Tulsa players circle around a Mississippi State player, who is being restrained
Tulsa and Mississippi State players trade blows along the Bulldogs sideline on Thursday
A helmet-less Dillon Johnson of Mississippi State appears in the middle of Thursday’s brawl
Mississippi State linebacker Aaron Brule (3) hits Tulsa’s TieNeal Martin (7) on the facemask
Members of Tulsa and Mississippi State fight after time runs out in Armed Forces Bowl
As for the game itself, Will Rogers threw one touchdown pass and ran for a score as Mississippi State held off No. 24 Tulsa 28-26.
Emmanuel Forbes had a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown and Lideatrick Griffin, who caught Rogers’ touchdown pass, contributed 138 kickoff return yards to help the Bulldogs (4-7) overcome a sluggish offensive performance that produced just 270 yards.
Zach Smith passed for 347 yards and a touchdown, but threw two crucial interceptions for the Golden Hurricane (6-3).
The Tulsa defense held down the Mississippi State offense even without linebacker Zaven Collins, the Nagurski Award winner as the top defensive player in the country who opted out to focus on the NFL Draft.
The Bulldogs led 7-6 at halftime and Rogers scrambled 13 yards for a touchdown that gave Mississippi State a 14-6 lead.
Deneric Prince answered on the next possession with a 13-yard touchdown run for Tulsa.
The Golden Hurricane was poised to take their first lead of the game, but Forbes made his pick-six against Smith for a 21-13 Mississippi State lead at the end of the third quarter.
A botched punt by Mississippi State gave Tulsa a first down at the Bulldogs’ 32-yard line and nine plays later Corey Taylor II ran 5 yards for a touchdown. A two-point pass went incomplete, leaving MSU with a 21-19 lead with 12:30 remaining.
Rogers threw a 13-yard touchdown to Griffin to increase the lead to 28-19 with 8:01 left.
Smith drove the Golden Hurricane to the Bulldogs’ 6, but was intercepted by Tyrus Wheat before directing Tulsa to his 15-yard touchdown pass to Keylon Stokes with 1:23 left. Stokes had nine catches for 117 yards.
A view of fans sitting in the rain during the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Amon G. Carter Stadium, where attendance was limited