PonyStampde.com: Let 's give thanks

PonyStampede.com would like to wish every SMU fan a Happy Thanksgiving. It's during this time of year that we really realize what is important in life. With the Mustangs major turnaround in 2009, PonyStampede.com is listing the top five things we are thankful for at this point in the season. Come inside for more!

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5.) Kyle Padron- How many true freshman quarterbacks start their career 3-0 and throw for over 300 yards in a game during the process? Where would the Mustangs be if Padron had not solidified his role as the starting quarterback. It's amazing to think that last year Padron was getting his first opportunity to be a starting quarterback at the high school level. In five games, Padron has thrown for over 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns. But, more impressively, the freshman has a quarterback rating of 160.34.

4.)The local media attention- While it's fun to see the national media starting to pick up the SMU story, I'm thankful for the local media attention that the Mustangs have received. Kate's coverage at the The Dallas Morning News has been by far a step up compared to recent years and Armen's coverage at Rivals.com has kept me on my toes. I hope that the three of us make each other better.

3.)The switch to the 3-4 defense- The last two weeks the defense has been less than stellar, but it's not time to forget what they did early in the season. Not only did they keep the Mustangs close in a few ball games, but they probably won it in a few as well. Coming into Marshall, SMU was tied for 8th in the country in turnover margin. Coach Tom Mason has done an amazing job on defense, with very young talent to work with. It should be recognized by SMU fans.

2.)Emmanuel Sanders and Chase Kennemer- The two have been the heart and soul of the SMU offense and defense. One of Sanders' goals this season was to get over the 1,000 yard mark in receiving yards. He accomplished that last week with one game to go. Kennemer was voted a team captain on defense at the beginning of the season and many SMU fans wondered why. They don't know, as Kennemer is 8th in the country in tackles at 115 on the season. He also has recorded two interceptions. These guys are examples on this team. You won't find either of them losing a sprint in team conditioning very often or not running to the next drill.

1.)Coach June Jones- Could any other coach have the Mustangs going to a bowl in year two of his helm? The answer is probably not. June Jones has raised the level at SMU. His confidence and swagger are starting to take shape with this team. In two to three weeks, SMU fans will really realize why they hired June Jones. The press' coverage of SMU going to Hawaii will be huge! It's amazing to think that the best is yet to come!

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