South Alabama v South Carolina marred by huge injuries

Injuries abounded to bystanders in the South Alabama-Bowling Green tilt (©GettyImages)

This iteration of the Camellia Bowl, sponsored by Raycom Media but with a similar name in past years, was hosting its inaugural matchup Saturday.

Excitement was low, however, because it promised to be a snooze fest between unheralded South Alabama and under-appreciated Bowling Green.

Things did get rather interesting as the game progressed, simply because of a rash of injuries to people who, well, aren't supposed to get injured. Take for instance side judge Craig Falkner, who, according to the Associated Press, was hit in his right leg after some object was heaved down from the stands by a fan.

Game shut down

The game was shut down a moment before South Alabama lined up to call a play. Falkner was reaching down, grabbing his right leg. He tried to walk it off and then his leg gave out again, signifying a worse injury than a simple bruise.

While cameras didn't track down the culprit, it was likely to be a BGSU fan: One of the Falcons players had just been ejected for targeting.

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Deadspin has video of the incident pulled from the ESPN broadcast, though there was never a great camera angle.

Horrific scenes 

Not too long after, a South Alabama coach received a cleat to the face. After Jaguars tight end Ryan Onkka received a pass and streaked toward the sideline, he was smacked out by Falcons defensive back Ryland Ward.

The Jaguars coach tried to cushion Onkka's fall, but the tight ends legs shot up and smacked him the chin, knocking him over and causing his hat to fall off.

The game between little known adversaries was entertaining, with South Alabama pulling ahead late after trailing by 15 points in the first half. Bowling Green's Roger Lewis took a 78-yard reception to the house, giving the Falcons the 33-28 win.

But while injuries to football players in a small-time bowl game isn't news, this matchup will be remembered for the sideline bystanders harmed in production.

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