Sports Outside the Beltway

Stampeded- SMU beats Nevada in Hawaii Bowl 45-10

If I were a college football player, if I couldn’t play in the BCS Championship game, I’d be happy with a bowl game in Hawaii. From the Honolulu Advertiser-

Twenty-five years after its last bowl appearance, Southern Methodist made sure that it would be ready for the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl.Hawaii Bowl

Led by an 18-year-old quarterback and a stout defense, the Mustangs cruised to a 45-10 trouncing of Nevada before a crowd of 20,217 at Aloha Stadium yesterday, leaving little doubt that SMU has returned from the dead.


After receiving the “death penalty” from the NCAA in 1986, SMU football — a program that had produced the likes of Doak Walker, Don Meredith and Eric Dickerson — disappeared for the next two seasons. The Mustangs’ fall from grace continued with one losing season after another, until this year.

SMU (8-5), which saw the best turnaround in the NCAA this year from a 1-11 2008, put the cap on a record season with a decisive victory over the Wolf Pack (8-5). The Mustangs’ last bowl prior to last night was the 1984 Aloha Bowl, when they beat Notre Dame, 27-20.

This game was but over very early on. My wife, mother-in-law, and I left for midnight mass(10 p.m. at our parish) at 8:30. As we left the house, SMU was up 14-0 already and they were lining up for a field goal.

Part of the reason for Nevada’s poor performance may be attributable to their defense being without two starters. One player had been arrested in the days leading up to the game.

The comeback of SMU is one of the least noticed college football stories of 2009. We’ll have to see if June Jones can sustain this success.

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