South Alabama vs. Eastern Michigan University football game ends in brawl

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The University of South Alabama’s Jaguars defeated the Eastern Michigan University Eagles 59-10 on Saturday during the 68 Ventures Bowl.

But the much-anticipated bowl ended with an unexpected brawl, as an EMU player ran up to a USA player after the game and punched him, shocking USA’s band members who were swaying in the stands while playing their instruments.

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Several EMU players rushed onto the field and had physical confrontations with USA players, as some onlookers screamed and one yelled, “Are you kidding me? Get out of here!” to the encroaching athletes.

The chaos lasted a few minutes before it subsided, and many people in the crowd chanted, “USA! USA! USA!”

Split screen showing, on the left, a University of South Alabama band member gasping, and on the right, a brawl at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
On the left, a University of South Alabama band member gasps, and on the right, a brawl breaks out during the 69 Ventures Bowl Saturday night at Hancock Whitney Stadium.

The TikTok user “south_alabamian” posted a video of the incident shortly after the game, with the caption, “No class…” It immediately went viral, garnering 4 million views in 20 hours.

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This is a developing story, and few details — such as what led to the initial punch — are known. News 5 will follow this story and provide more information as we learn it.

In the meantime, here’s what we do know:

  • The Jaguars (7-6) played as the visitors on their home field at Hancock Whitney Stadium and “matched two 68 Ventures Bowl records in the first half,” a spokesperson with the bowl said in a news release. “They scored 38 points, a feat East Carolina achieved in 2001, and held a 35-point halftime advantage, equal to the lead enjoyed by Tulsa in 2008.”

  • Eastern Michigan (6-7) struggled on offense. At halftime, the Eagles had just 27 yards and a single first down. 

  • “This was going to be a battle with the run,” Eastern Michigan Coach Christ Creighton said in the release. “We wanted to start the run game and knew they were going to crowd the box. They are 6-0 when outrushing and 0-6 when they don’t. They got us both ways with that.”

  • “By game’s end, the Jags had amassed the most points they’d scored since moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2012, logged an all-time program high of 627 yards of total offense and posted the second-largest margin of victory in 68 Ventures Bowl history,” the event spokesperson said. “The 49-point win was the seventh-most-lopsided win all-time in NCAA bowl history.”

  • “A lot of work goes into a moment like this,” South Alabama coach Kane Wommack said in the release. “There were young men over a decade ago [who] came here to do something special. They came with nothing and built a foundation of what we have become.

  • “This has been an opportunity that we took advantage of … The City of Mobile and the University of South Alabama are doing special things together,” Wommack said.

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