Armed Forces Bowl Breakdown: QBs

The countdown is on - only a handful of days remain until SMU makes its second consecutive bowl appearance. On December 30th, the Mustangs will square off with the Black Knights of West Point in the Armed Forces Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium, and we'll be breaking down each team's roster as the big game approaches. Today, a look at the quarterbacks from SMU and Army.

Last year, SMU torched Nevada by a 45-10 margin in the Hawaii Bowl -- the Mustangs' first bowl appearance in a quarter-century -- and then-freshman quarterback Kyle Padron set a school-record that evening with 460 yards passing.

This fall, Padron earned honorable mention all-conference honors and helped SMU to a 7-6 record and a debut appearance in the C-USA championship game.

The sophomore from Southlake Carroll threw for 3,526 yards with 29 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He trailed only Dominique Davis (East Carolina) in the conference rankings for passing yardage and TDs.

Despite those impressive stats, Padron has endured some criticism here-and-there for his 2010 performance, but such is the case when you set a school-record as a freshman. Expectations have been sky-high and probably a wee bit unrealistic.

It bears mentioning that Padron was sacked more times (29) than all but one C-USA quarterback -- that being Memphis' Ryan Williams (31 sacks).

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder enjoyed stellar outings vs. East Carolina (331 yards passing, 3 TDs), Tulane (354 yards, 1 TD), Rice (371 yards, 3 TDs), and Washington State (280 yards, 4 TD). He wasn't intercepted in any of the aforementioned contests.

Padron's backup, junior J.J. McDermott, made an impromptu appearance vs. Tulane and helped rally the Mustangs to victory by completing a crucial pass on an SMU scoring drive. McDermott has only attempted four passes this year, completing two of those attempts for 33 yards.

-Josh Harvey- Army's offense is directed by Trent Steelman, a 6-foot-0, 204-pound sophomore who made history last year as the first plebe signal-caller to start every game.

Trent Steelman
The Black Knights are known, of course, for running the football via their patented triple option attack and Steelman led the team in rushing last season with 706 yards. By the same token, Army was dead last in the nation in passing both last year and this year.

In 2009, the Black Knights averaged a meager 71.8 yards per game through the air. They've experienced a slight improvement in those numbers this season (up to 82.1 ypg).

Steelman has gotten bigger and stronger over the past 12 months, having gained 19 pounds. The native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, is second on the team in rushing (187 carries, 694 yards) and he leads the squad with 11 scoring runs.

The sophomore has completed 69-of-126 passes for 965 yards with 7 touchdowns and 3 picks. His backup, Max Jenkins, is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior from Houston (Langham Creek HS).

Early in the season, Jenkins saw substantial action in Army's 31-28 loss to Hawaii, replacing Steelman after the starter injured his shoulder. In that game, Jenkins ran for 29 yards on 10 carries and connected on 1-of-2 passes for 20 yards.

Steelman threw for more than 100 yards in four games (Temple, Rutgers, Kent State, and Navy). The Black Knights lost three of those four, with the sole win coming against Kent State.

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