Eastern Michigan player ignites brawl with South Alabama after 49-point loss


South Alabama rumbled to a 49-point victory against Eastern Michigan on Saturday night in the 68 Ventures Bowl but the action didn’t stop once the final whistle blew.

Eastern Michigan defensive back Korey Hernandez appeared to get into an altercation with South Alabama defensive back Jamarrien Burt as the Jaguars band performed for the team, according to AL.com. Hernandez punched Burt in the head as the Jaguars players faced the band.

More Jaguars players got involved in the melee but after a few moments the fight was broken up.

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Members of the South Alabama Jaguars hold up the 68 Ventures Bowl trophy after defeating the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Hancock Whitney Stadium on Dec. 23, 2023, in Mobile, Alabama. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

The game first saw Hernandez and another South Alabama defensive back, Brian Dillard, get tied up in the second quarter. Tensions apparently boiled over after the game.

“I didn’t see things when they happened,” Eagles head coach Chris Creighton said after the game, via the outlet. “But I definitely saw the intensity of what had just happened. We had a really good, long talk in the locker room afterwards.

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“We want to be first-class all the time, no matter the circumstances, no matter what the scoreboard is, no matter what other factors, people, whatever are involved. And anything short of being first-class is not living up to the standard that we have in Eastern Michigan football.

“I think that our guys care a lot about performing well. I’m sure we were embarrassed by how we played and it probably didn’t take too much to get our guys into a place that we hope that they never get.”

Desmond Trotter celebrates

Desmond Trotter of the South Alabama Jaguars reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Eastern Michigan Eagles in the 68 Ventures Bowl on Dec. 23, 2023. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

South Alabama coach Kane Wommack vowed an investigation into the incident and to take responsibility for whatever happened on their part.

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“This is a very special game, it’s a hard game,” he added. “It’s a team game and you do everything you can on a football field to be the best for your teammates. And at times, things get emotional and they get passionate and we ask these guys to play on the line of that emotion and passion in every single way. Those are never things that you want to end a game with.”

South Alabama won the game 59-10. Burt finished with one tackle. Hernandez didn’t tally any.

Ike Udengwu III tackled

Defensive lineman Jamie Sheriff of the South Alabama Jaguars tackles quarterback Ike Udengwu III of the Eastern Michigan Eagles during the 68 Ventures Bowl on Dec. 23, 2023. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

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Jaguars quarterback Gio Lopez was 14-of-19 with 192 passing yards and two touchdowns. He added 88 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

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