Miami coach Larry Coker said Sunday that at least eight Hurricane players will be suspended for their role in a sideline-clearing brawl against Florida International.

The fight came during Miami's 35-0 win Saturday night against Florida International, which plays across town. Miami was a listed as a -26 point favorite by Online Sports Book It was the first meeting between the teams.

Coker said the five players ejected in the fight - offensive linemen Derrick Morse and Chris Barney, running back Charlie Jones, and cornerbacks Carlos Armour and Bruce Johnson - would be suspended.

Coker also suspended safeties Anthony Reddick and Brandon Meriweather and fullback James Bryant.

The lengths of the suspensions have not been determined.

``I don't have many bad days,'' Coker said Sunday. ``This is a bad day.''

The fight marred what was supposed to be the beginning of a friendly rivalry between two schools with players who grew up battling each other on high school fields in South Florida.

But even after reviewing tape, it's impossible to say when tensions began escalating - although Coker said there was an incident during pregame warmups where an FIU player collided with a Miami player. He declined to identify which players were involved.

There were many instances of heated words being exchanged from the game's opening minutes, especially after FIU's Chandler Williams - one of the eight Golden Panthers who'd later be ejected - dived helmet-first at prone Miami defender Kenny Phillips following a first-quarter interception.

But later, unsportsmanlike turned into unruly - or worse.

Bryant pointed at the FIU bench and bowed to the crowd after catching a touchdown pass with 9 minutes left in the third quarter - which earned his suspension, Coker said.

``He needs to get the message,'' Coker said.

After the Miami extra point put the Hurricanes up 14-0, pushing and shoving broke out among linemen. Moments later, FIU's Chris Smith wrestled Miami holder Matt Perrelli to the ground and punched him in the chin.

With that, the fracas was on.

FIU's Marshall McDuffie Jr. charged in and kicked Perrelli in the helmet. Miami lineman Derrick Morse jumped onto the Smith-Perrelli pile, FIU's Lionel Singleton followed suit and threw a punch toward the head of the Hurricanes' Calais Campbell - and benches began to empty.

Several players appeared to throw punches, including Miami's Bryant, DajLeon Farr and Ryan Hill, and Meriweather was seen attempting to stomp on FIU players.

Reddick charged across the field, helmet raised high over his head, and slammed it into FIU cornerback Robert Mitchell.

Florida International's ejected players were Williams, Singleton, Smith, McDuffie Jr., fullback John Ellis, linebacker Mannie Wellington, tight end Samuel Smith and defensive end Jarvis Penerton.

by: Anthony White - - Email Us

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