After being benched in the midst of a subpar performance during SMU’s opening-game loss, Kyle Padron losing his starting quarterback job isn’t exactly a major shock. Still, it’s somewhat startling to see it written there in black and white.
Despite a year and a half as June Jones‘ starter — and after putting up tremendous numbers in 2010 — Padron will watch from the sidelines this weekend, with Jones announcing Tuesday that senior J.J. McDermott will start against UTEP Saturday in their Conference USA opener.
Padron was pulled in favor of McDermott in the loss to Texas A&M Saturday after throwing two interceptions in his first four attempts — which equals a pass efficiency rating of minus-20.1, incidentally. McDermott replaced Padron immediately after the second pick, with the junior never sniffing the field at all once he was yanked.
McDermott completed just under 62 percent of his passes for 254 yards and a touchdown — and no interceptions — in relief. Obviously, McDermott showed enough during the game, as well as the week leading up to the game by splitting first-team reps with Padron, to allow Jones to bench a player who threw for over 3,800 yards and 31 touchdowns last season.
“J.J. was ready and he did a lot of good things in the game,” Jones said. “We didn’t protect him really well, and he still battled through it. …
“I told him if you’re a quarterback, it doesn’t matter if it’s in college or the National Football League, you better learn how to deal with adversity. He’s handling it positively.”
In announcing McDermott as his new starter, Jones did allow that Padron will likely play at some point during the conference opener. When and how long remain two of the unknowns.