2018 Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State Rallies For 31-20 Win Over Arizona State
The Fresno State Bulldogs used defense and a running game for a big win over the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Fresno State ends 2018 with a historic victory.
The Fresno State Bulldogs came away Saturday afternoon with a 31-20 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils in the 2018 Las Vegas Bowl but, like the game’s namesake, it was a wildly entertaining 60 minutes that had plenty of unexpected twists and turns.
Chief among those twists is the fact that the Bulldogs won despite making uncharacteristic mistakes on offense. They outgained Arizona State 403 to 293 in total offense, but Fresno State also had three giveaways for just the second time in Jeff Tedford’s tenure.
Marcus McMaryion was also not as sharp as he had been all season long, completing just 15-of-29 passes for 176 yards. The downfield element of the passing attack was noticeably absent as McMaryion misfired on several deep shots, though he had a ten-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that helped the Bulldogs answer Arizona State’s early charge:
The senior quarterback also threw two interceptions in the third quarter, however, that threatened to turn a close game into a blowout:
More critically, Dejonte O’Neal had a bit of hard luck on a beautifully designed screen pass, diving for the end zone only to fumble the ball away on what was called a touchback:
If that wasn’t enough, Keesean Johnson also had a fairly quiet afternoon, catching just two passes on four targets for 33 yards. So how did the Bulldogs pull it out?