Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Preview
Arizona State vs Fresno State
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 15, 2018
Where: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada



LAS VEGAS BOWL STORYLINES

1. Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin should receive ample opportunities to break the single-season school rushing record when the Sun Devils meet Fresno State in the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 15 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Benjamin is 42 yards short of breaking the 46-year-old Arizona State record (1,565) set by Woody Green, and the Sun Devils will be without No. 1 receiver N'Keal Harry, which should allow even more carries for Benjamin. Harry, who had 73 catches for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns this season, has decided to skip the bowl game and begin preparing for the NFL Draft.

2. Fresno State should be plenty motivated in its first meeting against Arizona State since 1941. The Bulldogs earned this bowl bid with a dramatic 19-16 overtime win at Boise State on Dec. 1, putting themselves in position to win 12 games in a season for the first time in program history. Fresno State, which finished the regular season ranked No. 21 in the coaches' poll, will also be looking to win bowl games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since winning three in a row from 2002-04.

3. When the Sun Devils lured Herm Edwards out of the ESPN studios and onto the sidelines as their head coach in early December of last year, many doubted his ability to be successful. Not only had Edwards not coached at the college level in nearly 30 years, but he hadn't coached anywhere since 2008, and that was at the NFL level. Edwards had his ups and downs this season, starting with a win over then-No. 13 Michigan State in his second game and bottoming out with a loss to Colorado on Oct. 6, but he led Arizona State to a second-place finish in the Pac-12 South Division after they were predicted to finish last.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Fresno State -4.5

ABOUT FRESNO STATE (11-2, 7-1 Mountain West Conference): Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion is familiar with the Pac-12 after playing his first two college years at Oregon State, but the Beavers didn't play Arizona State those seasons. He was a big reason the Bulldogs went from a one-win team in 2016 to a 10-win team in 2017, emerging as the only West Coast team to win a bowl game last season. McMaryion took his play to another level this season, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes, throwing 25 touchdowns and getting intercepted just three times - none in the past four games.

ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12 Conference): The Sun Devils also have an experienced senior quarterback who has fought through battles to maintain his starting job and continued to flourish. Manny Wilkins has completed 63 percent of his passes, throwing 19 touchdowns with four interceptions, and his calmness under pressure has allowed Arizona State to go 4-1 this season in games decided by three points or fewer. Wilkins won't have his favorite receiver to find, so look for junior wide receivers Kyle Williams and Brandon Aiyuk to get extra targets.



PREDICTION: Arizona State 28, Fresno State 27
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Arizona State 7-5 W1 30.8 25.1 5-1 2-4 7-3 0-0 5-4
Fresno State 11-2 W3 34.9 13.7 6-0 5-2 2-0 0-0 8-1
Last Meeting
Arizona State Fresno State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Arizona State N/A
Fresno State N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Arizona State N/A
Fresno State N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Arizona State N/A
Fresno State N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Arizona State N/A
Fresno State N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Arizona State M. Wilkins 63.0 2896 19 4
Fresno State M. McMaryion 69.8 3453 25 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Arizona State E. Benjamin 277 1524 5.5 15
Fresno State R. Rivers 108 531 4.9 8
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Arizona State N. Harry 73 1088 14.9 9
Fresno State K. Johnson 93 1307 14.1 8
Touchdowns Player TD
Arizona State E. Benjamin 17
Fresno State R. Rivers 11
Quickchart Matchup
Arizona State Arizona State Off vs  Fresno State Fresno State Def
Arizona State 427.2 yards
Fresno State 323.8 yards
Arizona State 4.8 yards/rush
Fresno State 3.6 yards/rush
Arizona State 7.9 yards/attempt
Fresno State 6.1 yards/attempt
Fresno State Fresno State Off vs  Arizona State Arizona State Def
Fresno State 421 yards
Arizona State 402.8 yards
Fresno State 4.2 yards/rush
Arizona State 4.1 yards/rush
Fresno State 8.7 yards/attempt
Arizona State 7.6 yards/attempt