To help encourage good will on the field, the AFCA was able to get Boise State and Oregon to agree to team handshakes before they faced each other Thursday night in Boise, Idaho.
The gesture worked well, at least before kickoff.
That's because moments after Boise State defeated Oregon, 19-8, the Ducks' LeGarrette Blount delivered a knockdown blow to Boise State defensive end Byron Hout that certainly gave the AFCA's sportsmanship initiative a black eye.
Video after the jump.
LeGarrette Blount Suspended Earlier This Year
Boise State Coach Chris Petersen tried to put the incident in perspective when he told ESPN, "You know, just emotions get the best of players," Petersen said. "It was a hard fought game...."
The punch came while the two teams walked onto the field after the game's final play.
Hout initiated the assault when he said something to the Oregon running back and taunted him with a push to the chest. Petersen immediately grabbed Hout, but it only gave Blount an opening as he landed a right-hand punch to Hout's jaw, dropping him to the ground.
After connecting with his punch, Blount had a brief scuffle with teammate Garrett Embry and then got into a shouting match with several Boise State fans standing near the field exit tunnel.
Nicknamed "Blount Force Trauma" because of his bruising running style, Blount then took it to a new level when he had to be dragged off the field by coaches and security in order to keep him from going into the stands.
Oregon Coach Chip Kelly said he was not clear on what led to Blount to throw the punch.
"I didn't see it," Kelly told ESPN. "I saw that their offensive line coach from Boise did a great job of separating everybody. I grabbed LeGarrette and got him to one of our coaches. I then I was really looking for [Petersen] just to congratulate him after the game ....
"We will review the thing and will take appropriate action. But like I told our players in the locker room, we have to learn how to play with emotion and not let emotion play with us. That is not the University of Oregon and that is not how we play football. We don't condone anything like that."
According to KTVB.com, Boise State players said the atmosphere during the game was charged.
"They came out and were talking a little bit," Broncos running back D.J. Harper said.
When Boise State safety George Iloka was asked if he was surprised by Blount's punch, he responded with, "Kind of not," Iloka said. "I guess they were just mad, frustrated. They felt like they should have won. I guess it was bound to escalate."
Kelly said that before any discipline is handed down, he plans to talk with Blount about the incident on the Ducks' trip back to Eugene.
"I'll get a chance to visit with him on the ride home," Kelly said. " ....I will talk with him and find out all the information.."
Ironically, it was Blount who helped spark up tension leading up to the game when he told a reporter that "we owe that team a [butt] whoopin" as payback for the Broncos' victory over the Ducks last season.
But before the game, Blount was one of the Oregon players who took part in the team sportsmanship handshake with the Broncos.
Unfortunately for Blount and the AFCA, the feeling didn't last.