AMES, Iowa — Iowa State running back David Montgomery was ejected and will be suspended for the first half against Texas next week for his role in a fight during the third quarter of the Cyclones’ 28-14 win over Baylor on Saturday.
Montgomery, the Big 12’s second-leading rusher in per-game average, and Baylor defensive end Greg Roberts were both ejected for fighting amid a wild few moments that also led to the later ejection of Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer.
Montgomery traded punches with Roberts, who threw the first punch, reaching over center judge Ken Ray to hit Montgomery. The Iowa State junior responded by lunging back at Roberts. Montgomery appeared to land a punch near Roberts’ head.
Per an NCAA rule referenced Saturday by the Big 12 in regard to the situation in Ames, a player disqualified for fighting in the second half of a game is also disqualified from the first half of his team’s next game.
No. 22 Iowa State plays at No. 19 Texas next Saturday. The Cyclones, who have won five straight league games in the same season for the first time in school history, remain alive for a berth in the Big 12 title game.
Montgomery leads Iowa State with 765 rushing yards and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection a year ago.
He issued an apology Saturday night on Twitter, writing, “Me as a captain should not have reacted the way I did.” Montgomery added that he would “defend my brothers no matter what and I stand on that!”
First I would like to apologize to cyclone nation and my team for my actions, Me as a captain should have not reacted the way I did and I sincerely apologize for that!!! But I will defend my brothers no matter what and i stand on that!
— David montgomery (@MontgomerDavid) November 10, 2018
The play on which Montgomery and Roberts were ejected came two snaps after Baylor safety Chris Miller was flagged for a late hit on Montgomery along the Iowa State sideline. Miller and Baylor cornerback Raleigh Texada knocked Montgomery over a Gatorade cart on the play.
A near fight ensued, though only a flag on Miller was assessed. Then after a 10-yard Montgomery run, he ran for one yard while Iowa State receiver Hakeem Butler pinned Baylor safety Blake Lynch to the grass during a block. That play led to a series of shoving matches, and uniformed security ran onto the field from the Iowa State sideline before Montgomery and Roberts tangled.
Officials issued a personal foul on every member of both teams, meaning that the next personal foul would lead to the ejection of any player — involved or not in the original set of scrums. Brewer, the Baylor QB, was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after a fourth-quarter rush that resulted in his departure from the game.
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell described the events as “unfortunate.”
“I thought from the officials’ standpoint, they did what they needed to,” Campbell said. “David is a leader. The last thing that I would say that David Montgomery had anything to do [with] was starting any controversy tonight.
“It certainly looked like it was a secondary action.”