A South Carolina player is held by police during a 2004 fight against Clemson.
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The Worst College Football Fights of All Time Left Everyone Speechless

College football has had countless blood-boiling moments between players. These are the worst to ever take place.

Football is a physical game. The constant crashes and collisions usually give fans enough action to satisfy their craving for something risky without things getting totally out of hand. But every once in a while, adrenaline-soaked rivalries and fierce competition collide, leading to some of the dirtiest brawls ever witnessed on the gridiron. 

From notorious brawls that unfolded between heated adversaries to epic sideline altercations that shook stadiums, we're looking back at the fury-fueled moments when helmets clashed and passions overflowed. Read on to see some of the more memorable college football fights that have taken place over the years.

Clemson vs. South Carolina (Nov. 20, 2004) 

When things get out of hand in a rivalry game, the violence of one big fight can be enough of a horror to prevent any more brawls in the coming years. 

In 2004, Clemson hosted South Carolina in the annual Palmetto Bowl to end the regular season. As expected, things were tense between the two sides—but frustration exploded with 5:48 left to play in the fourth quarter. 

Gamecocks quarterback Syvelle Newton was put on the grass with a shot towards the head on a fourth-and-11, but Clemson players prevented Newton from popping back up as they laid on top of him. After some pushing and shoving, benches cleared, creating complete chaos on the field. The fight is remembered for its violence. Punches were thrown and cleats were spiked into heads, creating timeless images which are still famous to this day. One of those was Clemson's Yusef Kelly kicking a helmet-less South Carolina player in the head.

On Nov. 22, both schools announced that they would self-impose post-season punishments, and neither team would play in a bowl game that season. 

Miami vs. Florida International (Oct. 14, 2006) 

RELATED: College Football's Worst Brawl Led to 31 Suspensions

October is a historically violent month in the football legacy of Miami, making this game much more meaningful as it pitted two angry teams from the Magic City. 

Though the brutality of the fight was a bit more than most were expecting, it may not have been a total surprise after Miami and FIU battled all night long. The physicality stopped play several times before, but after a UM score with four minutes left to go in the third quarter, chaos broke out.  Multiple players were thrown around, body slammed, punched, kicked and some were even hit with helmets. Though the 'Canes were already winning the game, taking the fight was also of high importance. 

"Now that's what I'm talking about," color commentator and former Miami wide receiver Lamar Thomas said on the broadcast. "You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. I say, why don't we meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more?" 

The brawl delayed play for several minutes as the referees attempted to sort out the mess in front of a restless Orange Bowl crowd. After a multitude of ejections in the game, 31 total players were suspended, with 18 coming from FIU and 13 from UM. 

LeGarrette Blount vs. Byron Hout (Sept. 3, 2009) 

RELATED: LeGarrette Blount Sucker-Punched His Opponent, Then Attacked Fans

The Oregon Ducks finished the 2009 season with a Rose Bowl appearance, but things didn't start as smoothly as they would finish. On the road at No. 14 Boise State, Oregon lost 19-8, and tensions grew throughout the game, leading to a huddle of bodies in the middle of the field. 

"How about that ass-whooping?" is the famous line that Hout supposedly told Blount as the Boise State linebacker put himself in front of the Ducks running back. In response, Blount flashed a right hook into Hout's face, landing a punch that is still being talked about to this day. 

Blount played several NFL seasons after the altercation and won three Super Bowls with New England and Philadelphia. In 2022, he reflected on the incident. 

"The year before we played [Boise State], they came to Oregon and they beat us. They hit my quarterback late and knocked him out. They hit my tight end late and knocked him out. So it's personal now," Blount said. "[Hout] gets closer and closer to me and slaps my shoulder pad saying, 'How bout that ass-whooping?' and then the N-word. This ain't about football no more. Officially you done made it about something else...so I turned around and I punched him."

On the other side, Hout has claimed he never said anything racial. 

"People are going to say what they want to say and believe what they want to believe," Hout told The Athletic. "I know the truth and I'm going to live my life in truth always. People can speculate, and all I can do is hope that the people who know me know that there's no way I could possibly have said a racial slur there."

After the punch, Blount was initially suspended the entire season by Oregon but returned for late-season games against Oregon State and Ohio State. 

Arizona vs. UCLA (Oct. 20, 2011) 

Many have lost their cool in the suffocating heat of the desert, but when UCLA and Arizona matched up in 2011 the heat had little to do with the heinous scene at Arizona Stadium. 

Arizona held a massive 42-7 lead with just four seconds left in the second quarter. As junior quarterback Kevin Prince took the snap, the play was immediately called dead for a penalty. Strangely, at the exact same moment, an Arizona student named Jacen Lankow, dressed like an official, jogged onto the field to give a referee signal of his own. 

With an awkward distraction, some players decided that it was time to go at each other. Within seconds of the fan running on the field, players began swinging at each other, creating a dog pile that started at the 50-yard line and moved to the end zone. 

"I just wanted to do something memorable for my senior year, mostly for myself and just to have a story to tell," Lankow told Tucson.com. "The more I thought about it, this idea came about and it sort of developed from there."

After everyone's anger subsided, a player from each side was ejected from the game—though there were certainly more that qualified for the same punishment. The next day, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott handed out 10 suspensions for those involved in the brawl, with six Bruins and four Wildcats asked to sit. 

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