USA TODAY Sports
SMU showed up to play and was very impressive in their win over Fresno State on Christmas Eve.
This game reminded somewhat of when Boise State lost to East Carolina back in 2007. Boise State chose to go to the Hawai'i Bowl instead of playing on their home turf for a bowl game, and it ended up costing them a win against East Carolina.
However, this game was a blowout, and I have to give props to our podcast Bill Embody from The Daily Campus who said that SMU would put up over 30 points, because Chris and I both felt that there was no way that SMU could score a lot of points, let alone win in blowout fashion.
Fresno State's offense could get not get anything going at all throughout the game, they had just one drive over 10 plays, and that was an 11-play drive late in the fourth quarter, which ended in an interception.
Neither offenses were doing anything particularly well in the first quarter, but SMU made their move late in the first quarter. Their final drive of the frame would lead to the first points of the game. The drive was a quick five-play, 93-yard drive that was set up nicely by a Garrett Gilbert 67-yard pass to wide receiver Austin Fuller. The actual score was a 17-yard rush by Gilbert.
The Fresno State rushing game was completely shutdown as SMU held Robbie Rouse to just 23 yards, and minus 16 overal. Derek Carr threw the ball where for Fresno State with 362 yards, one touchdown but he also had a pair of pick-sixes late in the fourth quarter. Those interceptions did not cost Fresno State the game, but it put it away. Carr was also sacked seven times this year, the most that the Fresno State's offensive line gave up all year.
Fresno State had many drives end in a turnover on downs, fumble or a punt. Basically, they cold not get anything done. By the time they were able to move the ball even decently, the game was out of hand.
The player of the game was SMU defensive end Margus Hunt who three sacks with two forced fumbles and a safety before halftime, and was a force all game. Both of Hunt's forced fumbles led to SMU points.
This was easily the worst game that Fresno State played all year. It could have been something due to playing in a tropical location such as Hawai'i, maybe SMU June Jones pumped up his game since he used to coach at Hawai'i or it could have been that Jones has also coached in multiple Hawai'i Bowl's while at SMU.
Regardless of why Fresno State loss, they were embarrassed by a 6-6 team. They only player to really show up for Fresno State was freshman Davante Adams who had 13 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown.