The Pony Patrol striking fear into the hearts of opponents
Former Hawai'i Warrior Coach June Jones returned to the island of O'ahu and his run n' shoot offense didn't miss a beat. He and the staff claim that the SMU players are not yet familiar with everything they can possibly run--good luck telling Nevada that after a 45-10 pasting. Everyone wants to say the Ponies are back, but June Jones' SMU team will never have a "Pony Express" backfield. Instead, all of the passing records and most likely the total yardage records will be reset. Freshman QB Kyle Padron got the SMU bowl and single game passing yard record tonight: 460 yards. Padron also completed 78% of his 41 passes and threw 2 TDs.
Miami transfer Shawnbrey McNeal brought some of the U swagger with him to Hawai'i. McNeal scored 3 TDs on the ground. After the final one with 3:27 remaining in the game, McNeal grabbed a end zone pylon and used it like a golf putter on the football. He was promptly flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. June Jones did not reprimand him for that celebration penalty because that's how Jones rolls.
Back in 2001, Hawai'i rolled rival BYU in Aloha Stadium 72-45 (yes that's a football score). In the 3rd Quarter after grabbing a Hawai'i TD pass which put the Warriors up 51 to 24, WR Craig Stutzmann punted the ball out of the end zone and then jumped into the crowd. That was 2 personal fouls for the price of one but Hawai'i converted a 50 yard XP anyway. The stadium was erupting. So after SMU got up 38-0 in this game midway through the 3rd quarter, no one expected Jones to start calling dive plays. Kyle Padron still had to break the school passing record for yards in a single game, after all.
Nevada looked absolutely baffled on both sides of the ball and couldn't put together a TD of their own until there was only 1:04 remaining in the game. Say what you want about the way Jones goes about playing the game (his style points completed erased C-USA's huge deficit in point differential from the Bowl Challenge Standings, see below), but he can certainly rebuild a program. He took Hawai'i to 9 wins in his first season in 1999 (they went 0-12 in 1998), turned Hawai'i around in 2006 for 11 wins after a wayward 5 win season in 2005 and after going 1-11 in his first year at SMU in 2008, Jones won 8 games this year including the first bowl appearance and win in 25 years for the Ponies.
Bowl Challenge Standings
MWC 3-0 1.000 Pt differential: 41
Sun Belt 1-0 1.000 (Dwight Dasher swagger boost override) Pt differential: 10
Big East 1-0 1.000 Pt differential: 21
C-USA 1-2 .333 Pt differential: 4
Pac 10 0-2 .000 Pt differential: -34
WAC 0-2 .000 Pt differential: -42