Ronnie Rivers had 245 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns as No. 21 Fresno State beat Arizona State 31-20 in the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday.
A 68-yard Rivers touchdown run with 1:00 left in the third quarter proved to be the game-winning score:
Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl @LasVegasBowl
#MMLVBowl Update ... Score: Fresno State 24, Arizona State 20 -@fresnostatefb's Ronnie Rivers takes the handoff from Marcus McMaryion & rumbles 68 yards for the go-ahead TD! 🗒️The run is the 3rd-longest rushing TD & 4th-longest rush in LV Bowl history! https://t.co/Dt8rRYNgeJ
Rivers, whose father (also named Ronnie) is the school's second all-time leading rusher, followed that up with a five-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Fresno State a 30-20 lead. The ensuing extra point would close the scoring.
Arizona State dominated the first half as the Sun Devils outgained the Bulldogs 230-155 and won the time-of-possession battle by nearly five minutes.
However, the game was tied 17-all heading into halftime in part because of a Anthoula Kelly pick-six, which gave the Bulldogs an early 10-0 lead:
ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins then bounced back by leading his team to two straight touchdown drives. After Fresno State responded with a Marcus McMaryion touchdown run, ASU closed the first half on a 17-play, 72-yard field-goal drive.
The second half started out horribly for Fresno State. Dejonte O'Neal fumbled through the end zone after diving for the goal line, and then McMaryion threw interceptions on two consecutive drives. ASU only scored three points during that span, however, and the Rivers touchdown run gave the Bulldogs momentum once again.
The 12-2 Bulldogs won 12 games for the first time in school history. Arizona State finishes 7-6 in its first year under ex-NFL head coach Herm Edwards.