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Posted December 15, 2018 | lasvegasbowl


-No. 21 Fresno State defeated Arizona State 31-20 to mark the Bulldogs’ first victory in three trips to the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (lost in 1999 and 2003). It marked the Bulldogs’ first victory in four all-time meetings with the Sun Devils as the teams faced off for the first time since 1941.

-ASU fell to 0-2 all-time in the #MMLVBowl after also losing to Boise State in the 2011 game.

-The Mountain West won its third consecutive #MMLVBowl, including the last two over Pac-12 Conference opponents, to improve to 12-7 in the event.

-The Pac-12 fell to 8-9 all-time in the #MMLVBowl.

-The crowd of 37,146 represented the ninth-largest in Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl history.

-Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford improved to 2-0 in #MMLVBowls after previously winning with a team from Cal over BYU in 2005.

-Tedford became the first head coach to win a #MMLVBowl at two different schools. He also joined Chris Peterson (3-0 with Boise State) and Ron McBride (2-0 with Utah) as the only head coaches with multiple appearances to be undefeated in the #MMLVBowl.

-Fresno State running back Ronnie Rivers was voted the Rich Abajian Most Valuable Player for the 2018 #MMLVBowl. The sophomore rushed 24 times for 212 net yards and two touchdowns (68 and 5 yards).

-This marked the ninth time in 27 #MMLVBowls that a running back was voted MVP.

-Rivers’ rushing total of 212 yards ranked second in #MMLVBowl history, trailing only the 254 rolled up by Mike Anderson of Utah vs. Fresno State in 1999.

-Rivers finished second in #MMLVBowl history with 286 all-purpose yards, trailing only Boise State’s Doug Martin, who rolled up 301 vs. ASU in 2011.

-Rivers’ lone punt return went for 41 yards, which ranked third in #MMLVBowl history behind a 75-yarder by Craig Bragg of UCLA vs. New Mexico in 2002 and a 45-yard effort by Nevada’s Bryan Reeves vs. Bowling Green in 1992.

-ASU sophomore running back Eno Benjamin also broke the 100-yard mark with a net of 118 yards via 23 carries, including one touchdown from 17 yards out.

-This marked the first time in #MMLVBowl history that a player from each team boasted a 100-yard rusher.

-ASU WR Brandon Aiyuk returned five kickoffs, which tied three other players for third-most in a #MMLVBowl.

-Fresno State intercepted ASU QB Manny Wilkins in the first quarter and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. It marked the third-longest INT return in #MMLVBowl history.

-The long play marked the fourth consecutive #MMLVBowl with at least one pick-six. Both Boise State (53 yards) and Oregon (100 yards) had one in 2017; San Diego State (54 yards) had one in 2016 vs. Houston; and Utah (28 and 46) had two of them vs. BYU in 2015.

-The two teams finished even in first downs gained with 18 apiece – each had exactly 11 rushing and seven passing with none coming on penalty.

-The six total penalties were the fewest in a #MMLVBowl as both teams tied for fourth with just three apiece.

-The marked the 12thtime in the last 13 years that at least one of the teams in the #MMLVBowl entered the day ranked in one of the major polls.

-Fresno State improved to 14-15 in bowl games while ASU fell to 14-15-1.