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Fresno State rallies past Arizona State 31-20 in Las Vegas Bowl

Updated December 15, 2018 - 5:23 pm

Fresno State’s defense shut down Arizona State in the second half Saturday, and running back Ronnie Rivers made the difference offensively.

Rivers scored two touchdowns in those final 30 minutes, including a 68-yarder late in the third quarter to put the Bulldogs ahead for good in a 31-20 victory in the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Rivers, named the game’s Most Valuable Player, rushed for 212 yards on 24 carries to help the No. 19 Bulldogs (12-2) reach a dozen victories for the first time in the program’s 97-year history.

“It’s a good feeling,” Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford said. “It’s for these kids, because the memories they’re going to take away from this is going to last them a lifetime, and they’re going to have reunions for many years to come. (Friday) night in our team meeting, we talked about the bonding you keep through the rest of their lives. They can say they did something that no one else has done, and it didn’t come easy.”

Fresno State shut down Arizona State (7-6) in the third quarter after the teams played to a 17-17 halftime tie. In the third, the Sun Devils had four three-and-out drives and a fifth series that resulted in just one first down, and they were held to 21 yards.

Contact Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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