Fresno State and Arizona State will square off on the first day of bowl games, Dec. 15. This game will give the Mountain West and the Pac-12 a chance to go up against each other. Here is the 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl Preview:
Fresno State Bulldogs (11-2)
In his two seasons at Fresno State, Jeff Tedford has done a great job. This season he led the teams to 11 wins and they were able to win the Mountain West Championship Game. Their two losses were against Minnesota and Boise State. They have wins over Toledo, Nevada, Wyoming, Hawai’i, San Diego State and Boise State, all of which are bowl-eligible teams.
The Bulldogs have the 26th ranked scoring offense at 34.9 points per game. They are 25th in passing offense at 274. 2 yards per game and the 96th ranked rushing offense at 146.2 yards per game.
Former Oregon State Beaver Marcus McMaryion has played fantastic at quarterback for Fresno State. He has 3,453 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and three interceptions on 69.9% completion. His favorite target is KeeSean Johnson, who is one of the best in the country with 93 receptions, 1,307 yards and eight touchdowns.
Four rushers have over 200 yards rushing for the Bulldogs in Ronnie Rivers, Jordan Mims, Josh Hokit and McMaryion. Rivers leads the team with 531 yards and eight touchdowns.
Fresno State has the second-best scoring defense in the country at 13.7 points per game allowed. They are 27th against the run and 29th against the pass. Linebacker Jeffery Allison has racked up the tackles this season with 121.
Arizona State Sun Devils (7-5)
Herm Edwards has done a solid job in his first season in charge in Tempe. They got to seven wins with victories over two bowl-eligible teams in Michigan State and Utah. Four of their five losses were to bowl-eligible teams, with their loss to Colorado being the only abnormality.
The Sun Devils have the 54th ranked scoring offense at 30.8 points per game. They rank 52nd in rushing and 56th in passing offense, showing great balance.
Manny Wilkins has plenty of experience and operated the offense at a high level this season. He has 2,896 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions on 63% completion. Wilkins will be without his best receiver N’Keal Harry, who will be preparing for the NFL Draft. Kyle Williams, Frank Darby and Brandon Aiyuk all have over 400 receiving yards and will need to step up in this game.
Arizona State has given the ball to Eno Benjamin a lot this season and it has worked. On 277 carries, Benjamin has produced 1,524 yards and 15 touchdowns. Wilkins also helps out in the rushing attack with 416 yards and eight touchdowns.
They allow 25.1 points per game, which ranks 49th in the country. The Sun Devils rank 64th against the run 81st against the pass. Cornerback Kobe Williams has 50 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one interceptions and eight passes defended.
Fresno State has a good offense, defense and should be more motivated to take on a big conference opponent. With Arizona State being without Harry and having other injuries, the Bulldogs should be able to take advantage and win the game.
Fresno State Bulldogs 29 Arizona State Sun Devils 20
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