The inaugural Miami Beach Bowl was a great football game between BYU and Memphis. Unfortunately, the memories of what took place after the final snap will always be prevalent over the game itself.
On Dec. 22, 2014, Memphis topped BYU in a double-overtime thriller at Marlins Park. Unfortunately after the final snap, a benches-clearing brawl took place that left multiple players bruised and bloodied.
With the contest knotted 48-48 after the first overtime, Memphis went ahead for good on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Paxton Lynch to Roderick Proctor on the fourth play of the Tigers’ double overtime possession. Memphis sealed the win on the second play of BYU’s possession when DaShaughn Terry intercepted quarterback Christian Stewart. Immediately after that, the brawl ensued.
Perhaps the most egregious act caught up close on camera was BYU safety Kai Nacua sucker punching Memphis tight end Alan Cross. In total, 12 Memphis players were disciplined while Nacua and three other BYU players were suspended for the 2015 opener against Nebraska.
As for the game itself, it was a memorable one. Neither team led by more than 10 in the contest and BYU rallied with 17 straight points to start the fourth quarter to take a 45-38 lead midway through the period on a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown by Zac Stout. Memphis would force overtime in the game’s final minute on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Lynch to Keiwone Malone.
Both teams lost yardage on their possession in the first overtime, but Memphis kicker Jake Elliott kept his team alive with a 54-yard field goal after BYU’s Trevor Samson connected on a 45-yard field goal on the Cougars’ possession. Lynch passed for 306 yards and three interceptions, but accounted for seven total touchdowns. Stewart passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns to go with three interceptions for BYU. Paul Lasike rushed for a pair of touchdowns for the Cougars in the loss.
The teams combined for more than 900 yards and nine turnovers in the contest. With the win, Memphis notched its first 10-win season in school history. Unfortunately, the contest at Marlins Park will forever be remembered for the fight that ensued. It happened on this day five years ago.
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