BYU football: Miami Beach Bowl ends in brawl with Memphis

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A little shove, punch and heartbreak is the final word on BYU’s underwhelming football season.

BYU's Jordan Leslie connects on a 23-yard reception from Christian Stewart for a touchdown in the Miami Beach Bowl against Memphis on Dec. 22. BYU Photo/Twitter
BYU’s Jordan Leslie connects on a 23-yard pass from Christian Stewart for a touchdown in the Miami Beach Bowl against Memphis on Dec. 22. (BYU Photo/Twitter)

BYU’s comeback bid late in its 55-48 double-overtime loss to Memphis in the inaugural game of the Miami Beach Bowl Monday afternoon in Miami was chippy from the beginning and will leave Cougar fans scratching their heads for a good long while.

Memphis’ DeShaughn Terry intercepted Christian Stewart shy of the end zone to steal it from the Cougars in the second of two overtimes, after which a large scuffle occurred among several BYU and Memphis players.

Christian Stewart threw for 348 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions in his final collegiate game as a Cougar, and Mitchell Jurgens caught four passes for 87 yards and one touchdown. The Cougars are now 9-4 in bowl games under head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

Memphis’ quarterback, Paxton Lynch, stole the show through the air and with his legs, connecting with three different receivers for four touchdowns while rushing for 38 yards and three touchdowns himself.

The Cougars built a late lead in regulation following a Zac Stout pic-six that put the Cougars up 45-38 with more than seven minutes left in regulation, but Lynch forced overtime with 45 seconds left by hooking up with wideout Keiwone Malone for five yards and the touchdown.

BYU’s Trevor Samson knocked in a career-long 45-yard field goal to put the Cougars ahead to start overtime but was matched by Memphis’ Jake Elliott, whose kick from 55 yards out cleared the uprights liberally, forcing a second overtime.

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