ASU football runs out of luck in Las Vegas with loss to Fresno State

Both teams' quarterbacks got careless with the football

The No. 20 Fresno State football team (12-2) will leave Las Vegas victorious after their 31-20 win over the ASU football team (7-6) on Saturday. 

Heading into the Las Vegas Bowl, the Bulldogs were predicted at a 5.5-point favorite, whereas the Sun Devils were looking for their first bowl victory since 2014.

The Bulldogs began on their path toward a win late in the first quarter when senior defensive back Anthoula Kelly intercepted the Sun Devils and ran for a 70-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead.

The Sun Devils chipped into the deficit when redshirt senior quarterback Manny Wilkins threw a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Kyle Williams.

In the early minutes of the second quarter, the ASU football team took a 14-10 lead when sophomore running back Eno Benjamin rushed for a 30-yard touchdown. 

Although 30 yards might be minuscule for Benjamin, it would help him set a new ASU single- season record with 1,585 rushing yards in a single season, passing Woody Green's 1972 record. 


The hopeful feeling quickly faded for the Sun Devils when the Bulldogs' senior quarterback Marcus McMaryion dove into the end zone for a 10-yard score, bring the team to a 17-14 lead.  

By halftime, both the Sun Devils and Bulldogs were knotted at 17.        

While tension remained high from both teams early in the third quarter, McMaryion threw an interception that helped turn the game a little more toward the Sun Devils' favor.

With the help of Sun Devil freshman safety Aashari Crosswell and Benjamin, the Sun Devils put  sophomore placekicker Brandon Ruiz in position to kick a field goal, which ended up giving the ASU football team a 20-17 lead.

But just when the Sun Devils were picking up pace, the Bulldogs' sophomore running back Ronnie Rivers dashed pass defenders for a 68-yard touchdown with a little over a minute left in the third quarter.     

Up 24-20, the Bulldogs intercepted a pass from Wilkins for the second time of the game.

That would ultimately allow Rivers to rush five yards for the final 31-20 Bulldog win.


Reach the reporter at Edith.Noriega@asu.edu or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

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