Independence Bowl spokesman Patrick Meehan told The Kansas City (Mo.) Star the tiger mascot was performing his antics either near or with the trophy and somehow broke it.
"He knocked the trophy over," Meehan said.
Bowl officials were able to secure a replacement trophy quickly from a nearby business in Shreveport, La., and it arrived before kickoff, he said.
"We're the Independence Bowl," Meehan told the newspaper. "We have a backup for everything."
Meehan declined to speculate on how the mascot broke the trophy.
"He might get mad at me," Meehan said. "You don't want a mascot mad at you."