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Bowden: Brawl not our fault

Both head coaches agreed Sunday that the post-game fight between Florida State and Louisiana State on Saturday was unfortunate and marred what had been a clean football game won by FSU 42-3. Neither FSU's Bobby Bowden nor LSU's Mike Archer pointed fingers, although Bowden said that since the fight began on LSU's side of the field, it probably wasn't his team's fault.

And two FSU players on Sunday identified an LSU graduate assistant coach as an active participant in the fight.

The brawl started when FSU's Kirk Carruthers made a late hit on LSU quarterback Jesse Daigle as he ran out of bounds with time expiring in the game.

Several LSU players then jumped on Carruthers, including offensive guard Darron Landry, who FSU coaches said charged Carruthers from the middle of the field.

Officials threw flags and ruled that Carruthers hit Daigle out of bounds. Carruthers said he could not stop.

Fighting broke out all over the field, including a scuffle involving FSU free safety Lavon Brown and LSU graduate assistant Phil Pettey.

"I was heading back for our bench, and he grabbed my face mask and took a swing at me," Brown said Sunday. "I took a swing back. I was just defending myself. Neither of us connected."

Brown and FSU linebacker Howard Dinkins identified Pettey from an LSU media guide. The Associated Press distributed a photograph of the incident but did not identify Pettey. Archer said he only saw film of the fight near the sideline and did not see Pettey involved.

"All I know is people were trying to break up the fight," Archer said. "In the heat of the battle, what I saw was coaches trying to get their teams back. "If you watched for 60 minutes, it was a clean football game. We're as much at fault as anyone else. We've got to walk away from those things. It's unfortunate. It's a judgment call. I don't fault Kirk Carruthers. He was just playing football. Unfortunately, it happened there, flags were thrown and then there was chaos."

Bowden said Sunday morning that he saw the picture and just assumed Pettey was attempting to break up the fight. Bowden said Carruthers' hit was clean, but the incident was regrettable.

"I didn't feel like it was our fault," Bowden said. "It looked like any fight that starts on the other side of the field _ it's not your fault."