Saturday, December 15 at 3:30 PM ET
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunny to partly cloudy
Winds from the ENE 6 mph
Gusts: 9 mph
The Arizona State Sun Devils will battle the Fresno State Bulldogs in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday afternoon. These two teams have played in this bowl and both are 0-2, so they will be looking for their first win in it. Arizona State and Fresno State have played each other three times and the Sun Devils won all the games, but they haven't met since 1941, so don't look into it much.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Arizona State reached this bowl after finishing the season 7-5 SU and ATS. The Sun Devils are averaging 241.3 passing yards (57th in the nation) and 185.7 rushing yards (52nd). Arizona State ranks 54th with 30.8 points per game and 49th with 25.1 points against.
Manny Wilkins has passed for 2,896 yards, 19 touchdowns and four interceptions and he also has 416 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground and Eno Benjamin has 1,524 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on 277 carries but top wide receiver N'Keal Harry decided to sit out this game to prepare for the NFL Combine, hoping to position himself better ahead of the NFL Draft.
Look for Wilkins to rely on Eno Benjamin, who will try to break the single-season rushing record for Arizona State. He only needs 42 yards and he'll get plenty of carries in what should be a heavy rushing attack.
Fresno State Bulldogs
Fresno State earned a place in the Las Vegas Bowl after winning the Mountain West Conference Championship Game 19-16 against Boise State, improving to 11-2 SU and 9-4 ATS. The Bulldogs are averaging 274.2 passing yards (25th in the nation) and 146.2 rushing yards (97th). Fresno State ranks 26th with 34.9 points per game and 2nd with 13.7 points against.
Marcus McMaryion has 3,453 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and three interceptions, completing 69.8 percent of his passes and although he's not a dual-threat quarterback, he did ran for seven touchdowns. Ronnie Rivers has 531 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 108 carries and the key player for the Bulldogs is wide receiver KeeSean Johnson, who has 93 receptions for 1,307 yards and eight touchdowns.
College Football Trends:
The Arizona State Sun Devils are:
1-5 ATS in their last six neutral site games
1-6 ATS in their last seven games against Mountain West Conference opponents
0-4 ATS in their last four games in December
The Fresno State Bulldogs are:
7-1 ATS in their last eight games after allowing more than 200 rushing yards in their previous game
8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games
15-4 ATS in their last 19 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game
26-7-1 ATS in their last 34 games overall
11-3 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight up win
This game will come down to the Arizona State offense going up against the Fresno State defense. Fresno State likes to make opponents uncomfortable and this can be a problem for Arizona State because they won't have N'Keal Harry, Manny Wilkins' main weapon. The closest wideout with Harry's numbers is Kyle Williams and the difference between their numbers is evident:
N'Keal Harry: 1,088 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 73 catches
Kyle Williams: 432 receiving yards and one touchdown on 40 catches
This will be a real problem for Arizona State so I'll gladly take Fresno State -4 before the line moves to -4.5.
College Football Pick: Fresno State -4 (-110) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/2RMxhhA