Paxton Lynch accounted for seven touchdowns including a scoring pass to Roderick Proctor in the second overtime, Jake Elliott made a 55-yard field goal to force that extra session and Memphis topped BYU 55-48 in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl on Monday.
Lynch threw for four scores and ran for three more for Memphis (10-3) in a game marred by a postgame brawl that involved many players from both teams after BYU’s Christian Stewart threw an interception on the final play.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, and that continued — in ugly fashion — after it ended. Players from both teams spilled onto the field, with punches being thrown by both sides as coaches from Memphis and BYU tried to break up the mess before it got any worse.
“That’s not who we are,” Memphis coach Justin Fuente said.
There was no immediate word on any disciplinary action from either team.
It was Memphis’ first bowl triumph since 2005, and the Tigers finished a season with 10 victories for the first time since 1938.
Keiwone Malone caught two touchdown passes for the Tigers, including one with 45 seconds left in regulation.
Stewart threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns for BYU (8-5).
Paul Lasike ran for two scores and Zac Stout ran back an interception for another touchdown midway through the fourth quarter for BYU, which twice rallied from 10-point deficits.
The Cougars were a play away from winning twice, but Lynch found Malone for the tying score on 4th-and-4 from the BYU 5 late in regulation, then Elliott connected on his long field goal to end the first overtime.
The teams combined for four touchdowns in the first 8 minutes and Memphis led 24-14 early in the second quarter, before BYU rallied with two scores in the final 4:55 to take a 28-24 lead at intermission.
Memphis opened the second half with a 13-play, 71-yard march capped by Lynch’s third rushing score of the day to reclaim the lead, and the Tigers extended the edge to 38-28 after Alan Cross caught a 17-yard pass from Lynch with 3:45 left in the third.
But back came BYU again, with a field goal from Trevor Samson and — after the Cougars stripped the ensuing return away from Memphis’ Joe Craig for a fumble — Lasike’s second touchdown tied it at 38-all with 10:52 left.
Stout’s interception return for a score came 3 minutes later, stepping in front of a pass from Lynch at the Memphis 18 and going untouched into the end zone.
The Tigers, though, had the final answer.
SOURCE: The Associated Press