MEMPHIS, Tenn.–Texas A&M QB Kyle Allen set a Liberty Bowl record with five touchdowns. WVU and A&M combined for 82 points. Texas A&M took home the hand carved Liberty Bell trophy.
None of that will be remembered.
The Liberty Bowl set twitter ablaze at the end of the first quarter as West Virginia fans began to point out that a person on the Texas A&M sideline punched a West Virginia University player in the neck and elbowed another. Shortly thereafter, Vines appeared showing the transgressions.
At halftime, Texas A&M media relations staff would only say that they were “looking into it.” As the third quarter got underway, Texas A&M reported that Coach Kevin Sumlin was “aware of the incident and that the student assistant was told to remain in the locker room.”
Michael Richardson, a student assistant who was recruited to Texas A&M as a linebacker, committed the offenses. The three-star recruit (Rivals.com, Scout.com) remained with the team as an assistant after suffering a career-ending injury in 2012. Ironically, it was a neck injury.
After the game, Coach Kevin Sumlin said, “I was made aware of the situation at halftime. He’s already been sent home.”
Just as the Miami Beach Bowl between Memphis and BYU was overshadowed by a brawl after the final whistle, Michael Richardson’s behavior has stolen the narrative of the Liberty Bowl.
The game was an offensive showcase with both quarterbacks able to find receivers at will. Texas A&M QB and game MVP Kyle Allen recorded five touchdowns (4 passing, 1 rushing) en route to a 45-37 win. West Virginia staged a fourth-quarter comeback, but the Mountaineers were unable to stop the Aggies from gaining a first down and running out the clock on the final drive.
The 82 points scored was two shy of the Liberty Bowl record.
Follow Daniel J. Freeman on Twitter @djfree