HONOLULU (AP) — Freshman Kyle Padron threw for an SMU-record 460 yards, leading the Mustangs to a 45-10 victory over Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl on Thursday night — SMU’s first postseason appearance in 25 years.
It was a triumphant return to the postseason and paradise for the Mustangs and second-year coach June Jones, who left Hawaii after nine seasons and has revived a dreadful SMU program hit hard by the NCAA death penalty.
SMU fans chanted "Thank you, June!" in the fourth quarter, but it was his young quarterback who shone and earned the MVP award.
The 18-year-old Padron, who was 32 of 41 and completed two touchdown passes, was confident and composed on the biggest stage of his young career.