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SMU quarterback Kyle Padron is no stranger to playing on the gridiron before tens of thousands of fans. Even before he became the quarterback of the Mustangs, he was the signal caller at Southlake Carroll, a powerhouse football team in Texas, which is one of the biggest football states in the country.

“There were 50,000 at a high school football game,” Padron said. “Southlake versus [Euless] Trinity at Cowboys Stadium. But I was only a sophomore so I didn’t play.”

But Padron did play against Texas Tech (57,528) and TCU (35,481) last season in his first full year as the starter for head coach June Jones. So, going into the season opener at Texas A&M on Sunday, September 4, Padron won’t be too intimidated by the 82,000 fans at sold out Kyle Field.

However, the coaches were worried about the team’s ability to coordinate plays with a deafening crowd constantly screaming on four sides. So, at Thursday’s morning practice, the team practiced with over a dozen speakers blasting music, cheering, jeering and other noises the team is likely to encounter at College Station.

“It’s made a real difference in the communications aspect,” said Padron about the ambient noise after practice. “Just being to communicate in the huddle and being able to let the o-line [offensive line] make adjustments up front. I think that’s going to be the biggest thing for us. If they can make those adjustments, we should be alright.”

Current odds have the Mustangs as 16-point underdogs to Texas A&M, which begins the season ranked as the No. 8 team in the nation. But while SMU has their hardest test of the year up first, they’re not shying away from the challenge. 

“We got to beat them. They’re not going to make it easy for us," said Padron. "We got to go out there, take it one play at a time and have fun.”

Photo from Getty Images

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