2012 Hawaii Bowl Preview: Fresno State vs. Southern Methodist


The Fresno State Bulldogs will square off against the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.

Fresno St. (9-3) enjoyed a share of the Mountain West conference title in their first year in the conference, and will take on former rival SMU (6-6), of the Western Athletic Conference.

Fresno St. averages 40.3 points per game and gives up 22.3 points per game. SMU averages 29.5 points per game and gives up 27.0 points per game.

The Bulldogs are led by junior quarterback Derek Carr, and is the little brother of former number one pick, David Carr.

Derek Carr has said he is coming back for his senior year. He has thrown for 3,742 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, five interceptions, and completed 68.1% of his passes.

SMU’s quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, the former Texas quarterback, and is making his first Bowl game appearance since the 2010 BCS title game, has thrown for 2,720 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and completed 53.1% of his passes.

The player to watch is Fresno St. senior running back, Robbie Rouse. Rouse has ran for 1,468 yards, 12 touchdowns and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. He is the Bulldogs all-time leading rusher, and posted his third straight 1,000 rushing yard season this year. Last year, he had 1,549 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, watch for Fresno St. safety Phillip Thomas. Thomas leads the nation with eight interceptions and was named the MWC defensive player of year and was a Thorpe award finalist.

Fresno St. and SMU square off at 8:00 ET on Christmas Eve.