Las Vegas Bowl
Fresno State (11-2) vs Arizona State (7-5)
Date/Time: Saturday, December 15th at 2:30 pm CT
Location: Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, NV
Conference tie-ins: Mountain West, Pac-12
Last year’s result: Boise State defeated Oregon 38-28
Fresno State bowl history
Fresno State has an overall bowl record of 13-14, including a 33-27 win over Houston in last season’s Hawaii Bowl.
Prior to last years win, the Bulldogs had lost six straight bowl games.
Fresno has not appeared in a January bowl game since 1946 when they played in the Raisin Bowl on New Year’s Day against Drake.
Arizona State bowl history
Arizona State is 14-15-1 in bowl games after losing last year’s Sun Bowl to NC State by a score of 52-31.
Since 2000, the Sun Devils are only 4-8 in bowl games, including 1-3 in their last four appearances
This is the second Las Vegas Bowl appearance for Arizona State.
These programs have met just three times with Arizona State winning all three matchups. However, this will be the first matchup since 1941.
Key player to watch for each team
Fresno State: Wide Receiver – KeeSean Johnson
Arizona State: Running Back – Eno Benjamin
Fresno has a solid offense led by the efficient Marcus McMaryion at quarterback along with a couple of talented running backs. The star of the offense is wide receiver KeeSean Johnson who has 93 receptions for 1,307 yards along with eight touchdowns. The Bulldogs rely heavily on their 17th ranked defense to win games. They have forced 24 turnovers this season, which is tied for the sixth most in the nation. Additionally, Fresno only allowed 20 points or more in just four games this season.
It is important to note that star wide receiver N’Keal Harry will not be participating in the game as he prepares for the NFL draft. That significantly impacts the Sun Devils offense as they will have to rely more heavily on running back Eno Benjamin. Benjamin has run for 1,524 yards along with 15 touchdowns. Arizona State has struggled on defense this season, coming in ranked 71st overall. The Sun Devils are middle of the pack in many statistical categories, however, turnover margin is among the top in the country.
Going against Fresno State’s elite defense, Arizona State will need more than just running back Eno Benjamin in the Las Vegas Bowl. Fresno has struggled to score in some aspects this season, but the Sun Devil defense does not offer much resistance. This is an interesting game in which Fresno State has an overall advantage.
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