For the first time in program history, Fresno State earned its 12th win in a single season, defeating Arizona State 31-20 at the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday afternoon at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Sophomore running back Ronnie Rivers was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after accounting for 286 all-purpose yards, the fourth-most in program history. He totaled 212 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 carries, while also posting 41 punt return yards and 33 receiving yards. Rivers accounted for nearly half of the Bulldogs’ 436 yards of offense.
Having surrendered 230 yards and 17 points to Arizona State in the first half, the Bulldog defense shut down the explosive backfield duo of running back Eno Benjamin and quarterback Manny Wilkins in the second half as the Sun Devils gained only 63 yards and registered one field goal during the final 30 minutes.
The Bulldogs forced two turnovers while giving away three. Tank Kelly and Juju Hughes each recorded their fourth interceptions of the season. Kelly’s interception was returned 70 yards for a touchdown that put the Bulldogs on top 10-0 midway through the first quarter. Kelly’s was featured as the No.5 play on ESPN SportsCenter’s top 10.
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