Bowl game season is upon us, which means you have every excuse to bring a TV into work and watch all 40 of college football’s bowl games while getting nothing done. For some of these games, there isn’t much incentive to tune in. Often times draft eligible players skip them and teams aren’t playing for much.
That was 150 percent not the case for this year’s Belk Bowl between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Kentucky Wildcats in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Tempers flared between the two teams prior to Tuesday’s game at Bank of America Stadium, and Kentucky quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. was right in the middle of the pregame scuffle.
The first-team All-American reportedly punched VT defensive tackle DaShawn Crawford and had one thrown at him. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s happening, but it’s all terrific. Bowden is the shirtless one.
Belk Bowl Fight
Bowden was still able to play because the incident occurred outside of the one-hour window referees have to eject a player.
Afterward, a heated exchange took place between Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock, Kentucky director of player personnel Josh Pruitt and Belk Bowl executive director Danny Morrison.
Apparently, this fracas stemmed from an altercation between players from both teams at a Charlotte Motor Speedway event this weekend. The Athletic‘s Kyle Tucker reported that multiple Virginia Tech players hurled “profane insults” as Kentucky arrived at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
“Yeah, we’ll leave some of that behind closed doors. We’ll worry about ourselves and our preparation,” Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops told 247Sports afterward.
Bowden then continued the bad blood (or at least conveyed it to local media) by refusing to answer questions about the Hokies leading up to the game. He also refused to compare the SEC and ACC, because there is no comparison.
After scoring a 25-yard touchdown to take a 7-3 lead in the first quarter of the Belk Bowl, Bowden even pointed at one Hokie as he breezed into the end zone.
Of course, the team that wins will get the last laugh.
Bowden, who won the Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in college football this season and rushed for an SEC quarterback record 284 yards against Louisville, does not seem like the guy you want to mess with.
But maybe Virginia Tech players were hoping he’d be ejected and they wouldn’t have to worry about defending him. He received a high praise from Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who is coaching in his final game.
“You know, No. 1 [Lynn Bowden] is just a great athlete,” he told 247Sports. “Great speed, with the ball in his hand just extremely dynamic. If you look at the stats, he’s their leading receiver, kick returner, punt returner and at quarterback their leading rusher. Just a dynamic athlete.”
Who knew the Belk Bowl would be this fun?