A wild, post-game brawl erupted after Mississippi State held off No. 22 Tulsa 28-26 on Thursday in the Armed Forces Bowl, overshadowing true freshman Will Rogers’ big game for the Bulldogs.
Minutes after the game ended following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Mississippi State on a late onside kick as Tulsa tried to make a comeback, the teams became involved in a large melee on the field. Tulsa coach Greg Montgomery said sophomore safety Kendarin Ray, who was helped off the field after being at the bottom of a dogpile during a second scrum, was treated for some sort of concussion.
Rogers scored his first rushing touchdown and had a 13-yard scoring pass for the Bulldogs (4-7). They finished the season with a second straight win in a game played at TCU in steady rain and temperatures in the upper 30s.
Joquavious Marks scored a rushing touchdown on the games first possession and Emmanuel Forbes returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown. Forbes third-quarter touchdown was initially called back on an illegal blocking penalty, but officials reversed the ruling to a penalty on Tulsa.
Deneric Prince and Corey Taylor II scored rushing touchdowns, Zach Smith had a 15-yard TD pass to Keylon Stokes and Zack Long kicked field goals of 27 and 33 yards for Tulsa (6-3, No. 24 CFP).
Tulsa pulled to 21-19 with 12:30 left on Taylors 5-yard run, but Smiths two-point conversion pass intended for Stokes was broken up in the end zone. Mississippi State answered with Rogers 13-yard throw to Lideatrick Tulu Griffin to go ahead 28-19.
Smiths 15-yard scoring pass to Stokes came with 1:23 to play. Long then attempted an onside kick, which was recovered by the Bulldogs at the Mississippi State 47, and Erroll Thompson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Armed Forces Bowl between Mississippi State and Tulsa ended in a sidelines-clearing brawl, because of course it did. Just end already, 2020. pic.twitter.com/L61BOllkgu— Tyler Horka (@tbhorka) December 31, 2020
BALL STATE 34, NO. 19 SAN JOSE STATE 13
TUCSON, Ariz.: Antonio Phillips returned an early interception 53 yards for a touchdown, Drew Plitt accounted for two scores and Ball State beat short-handed San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl.
San Jose State (7-1, No. 22 CFP) had to play without its two coordinators and Mountain West Conference player of the year Cade Hall due to COVID-19 and other issues.
The Cardinals (7-1) took advantage, quick-hitting their way down the field on offense after Phillips interception for a 27-0 lead in the first quarter. The Mid-American champions bogged down in the second half but had four interceptions to win their first bowl game in 10 tries.
Already short-handed, the Spartans lost tight end Derrick Deese, Jr., the team leader with five touchdown receptions, to a neck injury on the first play from scrimmage.
Quarterback Nick Starkel injured his left knee in the second quarter but later returned wearing a brace. He threw for 268 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions for the Mountain West Conference champions.
Plitts 48-yard TD pass to YoHeinz Tyler made it 33-0 before San Jose State finally scored on Charlie Bostics 99-yard kickoff return.