When June Jones was hired at SMU, immediately Mustang fans had dreams of their quarterbacks putting up 300 yard performances and being the star of the team. After a year and a half, the struggles at the position have been well noted. But today, true freshman Kyle Padron gave Pony fans a glimpse of what the future might hold.
In his first career start, the Southlake Carroll product went 20 for 30, for 354 yards and two touchdowns in the SMU 27-14 victory over Tulsa. More importantly, Padron took care of the ball, throwing no interceptions and not taking many risks. His ability to get out of the pocket and make things happen with his feet, is a trait that the position has not seen since June Jones' arrival.
"I'm just really happy for him. He really has no idea of about 30% of what he is doing," said Coach June Jones after the game. "But, he just stays in there, and throws the ball accurately. If he doesn't like it, he runs. What a debut for his first start. I think that he will always remember that. He's only going to get better." It had been a mystery all week on who would get the start this afternoon against Golden Hurricanes. Bo Levi Mitchell tore his labrum last week against Houston, but was still listed as questionable on the depth chart.
"I knew it after last week's game that he (Padron) would play the most. I was just going to wait and see how Bo threw the ball on Friday and Saturday and actually he threw it pretty good," said Jones. "It was an opportunity to simplify the game plan and get him some experience. I felt we had a pretty good lock on what they were doing and we were better on defense this year. I felt if we could limit the turnovers, we would do well in the game."
Now the questions will begin on who should be the starting quarterback in the future. Bo Levi Mitchell has the experience, but has thrown ten interceptions compared to his 12 touchdowns. He has also been sacked ten times. If he is not 100% healthy, there may be no reason to consider starting the sophomore after Padron's performance today.
"We'll see this week. The doctors say that Bo's thing is anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. The biggest thing is that he can throw and stuff. But risking injury, if he falls on it, it may knock him out for another 3 or 4 weeks," said Jones. "We are just going to have to play it by ear."
Coach Jones was quick to say after the game that Bo Levi Mitchell could have gone today if it was the National Football League.