Fresno State vs. SMU: Twitter Reaction, Recap and Analysis from 2012 Hawaii Bowl

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 24, 2012

June Jones returned to Honolulu as head coach of SMU, and his Mustangs trounced Fresno State, 43-10, in the 2012 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

The first half belonged to SMU and, more specifically, senior defensive end Margus Hunt. The 6'8", 280-pound lineman from Estonia was unstoppable in the first half hour and went into the locker room with three sacks, two forced fumbles and a safety.

Garrett Gilbert, Zach Line and the Mustangs' offense ensured that Hunt's defensive efforts were not in vain, and each rushed for a touchdown to give their team a 22-0 lead at the end of the first half.

The Bulldogs decided that Hunt was not going to have the same type of impact and frequently triple-teamed the talented pass-rusher for the remainder of the game. 

This allowed Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr time to throw, and he was able to slightly close the gap with a touchdown pass to Davante Adams early in the third quarter. But Gilbert refused to entertain the notion of a comeback, and he found Darius Johnson in the end zone on the very next drive. 

The Hawaii Bowl was supposed to be Carr's time to shine, but a fourth-quarter interception that SMU's Taylor Reed returned for a touchdown turned this contest into a rout. Carr's later attempts to make the score respectable backfired, and Hayden Greenbauer intercepted another one of his passes and returned it for another score. 

SMU finished the season above .500 with a record of 7-6, while Fresno State dropped to 9-4 in 2012. 


Twitter Reaction

While the game was technically played at a neutral location, SportsCenter noted that SMU had an advantage thanks to head coach June Jones' previous job at the University of Hawaii:

Former Hawaii coach June Jones looks right at home in Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.Underdog SMU is up 22-0 in Jones' 75th game at Aloha Stadium.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 25, 2012

Senior running back Zach Line has been a workhorse throughout his career with the Mustangs. In his final game, he put his name next to one of the all-time greats, as ESPN Stats & Info noted:

Zach Line just tied Eric Dickerson for most rush TD in SMU history (47) @hawaiibowl

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 25, 2012

The National Football Post's Dave Miller took note of Margus Hunt's first-half production:

#SMU defensive end Margus Hunt: 3 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a safety. In the first half.

— Dave Miller (@Miller_Dave) December 25, 2012

CBS Sports' Matt Hinton compared Hunt's dominance to an impressive performance from BYU's Kyle Van Noy a few days ago in the Poinsettia Bowl:

Margus Hunt is going the full Van Noy.

— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) December 25, 2012

CBS Philly's Kevin McGuire was balancing his professional with his religious duties on Christmas Eve and noted that his prediction for this game was way off:

Not watching but before we go any further, I really like Fresno State tonight in the #HawaiiBowl.

— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) December 25, 2012

Just checked the score between services, I see SMU is making me eat at words. Wow.

— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) December 25, 2012

CBS Sports' Eye on College FBall noted that SMU's second interception return for a touchdown was another record-tying score for the Mustangs:

SMU has tied an NCAA record with 8 interceptions returned for TDs this season (tying Southern Miss in 2011).

— Eye on College FBall (@EyeOnCFB) December 25, 2012