"We're excited to play Nevada," said June Jones, SMU Head Coach. "Having played Nevada Reno many times while I was at Hawaii, I have a great deal of respect for Coach Ault and his program. Their rushing attack will pose a stiff challenge, but we're really looking forward to the game."
SMU (7-5) will be making its 11th bowl appearance and first since 1984 when it played in the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu. The Mustangs tied for first place with Houston in the Conference-USA West Division with identical 6-2 league records. SMU, which finished 1-11 last season, is coached by former Hawai`i coach June Jones, who is in his second year at the Hilltop.
After starting the season 0-3, the Wolf Pack (8-4, 7-1 WAC) won their next eight games setting up the WAC championship against Boise State. Nevada will be making its fifth consecutive bowl appearance and second Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl since 2005.That year, the Wolf Pack won a shootout over Central Florida, 49-48 in overtime.
"The Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl is a one-of-a-kind experience," said Chris Ault, Nevada Head Coach. "We're excited and looking forward to being a part of it again. SMU has a diverse offense and a sound defense that make it a very good team."
Kickoff for the 2009 SHERATON HAWAI`I BOWL is set for Thursday, December 24 at 7 p.m. CST/3 p.m. HST, live on ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.