Hawaii Bowl: SMU 43, Fresno State 10
Margus Hunt dominates with two forced fumbles and a safety.
|Garrett Gilbert had 310 yards of total offense against Fresno State (US Presswire)|
SMU WON: Mustangs defensive lineman Margus Hunt recorded three sacks, forced two fumbles and notched a safety in the first half alone and SMU (7-6) used a 22-point second quarter to spark a 43-10 victory over Fresno State (9-4) in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve night in Honolulu. Both of Hunt's forced fumbles came after sacks of Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr in the second quarter, leading directly to 10 SMU points. SMU got 212 yards passing and 98 yards rushing from quarterback Garrett Gilbert, while running back Zach Line rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. The Mustangs returned two Carr interceptions for touchdowns. Carr threw for 362 yards and one touchdown, but he had four turnovers. Freshman wide out Devante Adams had 13 catches for 144 yards for the Bulldogs. SMU held Fresno State to negative 24 yards rushing.
WHEN SMU WON: Hunt totally disrupted Fresno State in the first half, with his sack of Carr in the end zone being the tipping point. After the safety put SMU up, 12-0, the Mustangs got the ball back and went 67 yards in 11 plays, with Line scoring from eight yards out to make it 19-0. The game was essentially over at that point.
WHY SMU WON: Fresno State just couldn't keep Hunt from wreaking havoc. The 6-foot-8, 280-pounder took advantage of freshman right tackle Alex Fifita's inexperience and was in Carr's face all night. Two forced fumbles and a safety later and SMU had a comfortable lead.
WHAT SMU WON: The once moribund Mustang program continued its rebound under June Jones, geting its third bowl win in its last four seasons.
WHAT FRESNO STATE LOST: The Bulldogs saw their five-game win streak snapped and missed out on a chance for its first 10-win campaign since 2001. Still, Fresno State has to feel good about head coach Tim DeRuyter's first season.
HOW ABOUT THAT: With its two pick sixes, SMU tied the NCAA record of eight interception returns for touchdowns in a season set last year by Southern Mississippi.
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