Marlins Park hosts nail-biter of a Miami Beach Bowl

Marlins Park hosts nail-biter of a Miami Beach Bowl

Marlins Park may be months away from hosting baseball games, but fans in attendance on Monday were treated to a sports thriller of a different kind, as the ballpark played host to the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl, in which Memphis defeated BYU, 55-48, in a double-overtime nail-biter.

After four quarters of regulation and two overtimes, Memphis defensive back DaShaughn Terry intercepted BYU quarterback Christian Stewart to hand the Tigers their first bowl victory since 2006.

And the action didn't end at the final whistle. Emotions immediately boiled over, and a brawl erupted on the field, with players from both sidelines joining the scuffle.

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe took to Twitter to apologize for the incident, which marred an otherwise stellar game.

"We expect better of our athletes, even in the face of a difficult loss," Holmoe tweeted. "We intend to fully review this matter. I apologize to Cougar Nation."

Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch put on a show, passing for four touchdowns -- two to receiver Keiwone Malone -- and rushing for three more. He accounted for 306 yards through the air and another 38 on the ground.

BYU's Stewart threw for 348 yards and three scores but was picked off three times, including the game-clinching interception. Cougars running back Algernon Brown ran for 79 yards on 19 carries.

The contest was the first football game hosted at Marlins Park, which opened in 2012 and was designed to accommodate football and soccer in addition to baseball games.

The venue was outfitted with goalposts, line markers, tarps and benches last July. Sod was installed earlier this month, and the field was painted with team logos, yardage lines and numbers last week.

Marlins Park is one of three Major League ballparks to host college bowl games this year, joining Tropicana Field and Yankee Stadium, which hosted the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl and New Era Pinstripe Bowl, respectively.

"It's a six-year deal [with the Miami Beach Bowl], so this is perfect, because they're great to work with, their offices are in the operations office, so I see them every day," Claude Delorme, the Marlins' executive vice president of operations, said earlier this month.

"We meet every week. ... We want to make sure they're successful. This is a recurring event, so this is the perfect setting for us. This is exactly the type of event we want to see."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.