NGSC Sports

Memphis Wins the Wild and Crazy Inaugural Miami Beach Bowl

The very first Miami Beach Bowl will be remembered for a lot of things, but not being entertaining isn’t one of them. After 60 minutes of regulation and two overtimes, the Memphis Tigers were the ones celebrating at Marlins Park.

Quarterback Paxton Lynch threw for 306 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for three more as he led the Tigers to the 55-48 double overtime victory over the BYU Cougars. He became the first player since Clemson’s Tajh Boyd to throw for at least four touchdowns and rush for three touchdowns in a game. Receiver Keiwon Malone caught two of Lynch’s touchdown passes.

“This is probably the craziest game, most emotional game I’ve ever been a part of,” said Lynch.

After the Tigers blew a couple of double-digit leads, Lynch help set up a game-tying field goal before the end of the fourth quarter. Kicker Jake Elliott tied the game on a 54-yard field goal, which would have been good from over 60-yards to take the game into overtime.

The game remained tied after the first overtime, but Memphis receiver Roderick Proctor caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Lynch to put the team up in the second overtime.  BYU had a chance to tie the game up and force a third overtime, but defensive back DaShaughn Terry clinch the victory by intercepting  BYU quarterback Christian Stewart.

After the game ended, that’s where trouble began. Around a dozen BYU and Memphis players started punching and pushing each other in the middle of the field.

“You want them to rise above that and have fantastic sportsmanship,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said after the game. “I’m sure if you go back and look, there’ll be an instance or two that ignited. Probably the majority wanted to handle it really well.”

The ESPN cameras caught BYU defensive back Kai Nacua punching Memphis tight end Alan Cross as Nacua had blood coming down his face.

“I don’t know what happened at the end, first of all, so I don’t know how upset I am,” Memphis coach Justin Fuente said. “I’m sure I’ll see it eventually. It’s not who we are, it’s not what we want to represent. I hope it doesn’t take away from an incredible football game, for both sides.”

With the win on Monday, Memphis (10-3) reached double-digits for the first time since 1938. They also won their first bowl game since 2005 Music City Bowl against the Akron Zips.

 

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