With players still coming off the field, Mississippi State coach Mike Leach gave an interview to ESPN only moments after his players and coaches were involved in a nasty brawl against Tulsa immediately following the Armed Forces Bowl.

Both sidelines were cleared as players on both sides threw punches and even kicked opponents as the melee overflowed around the field. Apparently, the incidents sparked in the pregame, but the teams combined for 18 penalties as the tempers flared throughout the 28-26 win for MSU.

“There was something before the game, too,” Leach said. “We’ve never had any problem with that the entire season, so I can only guess without seeing the film, but I know prior to this game, we’ve never had any trouble with that.”

Leach said he would tell his players to not do it anymore.

“That’s just dumb,” he said. “Stuff going back and forth in the course of the game, which any of it on our side I don’t want to see because I feel like I got shorted 15 yards, 30 yards on deals where if we just keep our mouth shut, you know.”

In a season where MSU won just four games, Leach said the Bulldogs are still a long way off, but made a lot of progress.

“This is a football team, so we’re not going to be tearing cloth over this deal,” Leach said. “… I just don’t like that we were undisciplined in some situations where I thought we — if you control yourself mentally and emotionally you put yourself in a better position.”