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2018 Las Vegas Bowl

College Football

2018 Las Vegas Bowl: Teams, Facts, and Pick

Viva the Las Vegas Bowl.

Get yourself ready for the 2018 Las Vegas Bowl with our pick of the game.

Las Vegas: the glitz, the glamour, the shows, the buffets. Truly, this city has it all. The Fresno State Bulldogs and Arizona State Sun Devils will not, however, play their bowl game within the confines of Sin City. This one takes place at Sam Boyd Stadium in Whitney, an unincorporated community; it is about 20-25 minutes from the Strip.

Do not feel too badly for the players, however, as they are getting treated very well in nearby Las Vegas and are living their best lives.

Oh yeah, there’s a football game, too. Find out all about these two teams and see who we think wins this contest.

Previous Bowls Picked: Cure | New Mexico

2018 Las Vegas Bowl: This Year’s Bowl Info

Saturday, December 15, 2018, 3:30pm ET (12:30pm PT)
Sam Boyd Stadium, Whitney, Nevada
Broadcast on ABC
$2,760,000 payout (Link: College Football Poll)
Fresno State is a 4.5-point favorite

2018 Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State Sun Devils

7-5 (5-4 Pac-12); 2nd in Pac-12 South
Best Win: Utah
Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense 53rd, Total Offense 45th, Rushing Offense 52nd, 3rd Downs 50th, Time of Possession 78th, Turnover Margin T-12th, Sacks Allowed T-19th, Red Zone 43rd
Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense T-49th, Total Defense 71st, Rushing Defense 64th, Opponent 3rd Downs 93rd, Sacks Per Game 43rd, TFL Per Game T-27th, Interceptions T-64th, Opponent Red Zone 91st
Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking T-31st, Punts Per Game T-78th

2018 Las Vegas Bowl: #21 Fresno State Bulldogs

11-2 (7-1 Mountain West); 2018 Mountain West champions
Best Win: Boise State (championship game)
Offensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Offense T-26th, Total Offense 50th, Rushing Offense T-97th, 3rd Downs 26th, Time of Possession 39th, Turnover Margin T-6th, Sacks Allowed T-8th, Red Zone T-11th
Defensive Ranks (out of 130): Scoring Defense 2nd, Total Defense 17th, Rushing Defense 27th, Opponent 3rd Downs 23rd, Sacks Per Game 95th, TFL Per Game 105th, Interceptions T-4th, Opponent Red Zone 1st
Special Teams Ranks (out of 130): Field Goal Kicking 112th, Punts Per Game T-59th

2018 Las Vegas Bowl: Head-to-Head

This is the fourth time Arizona State and Fresno State will have played one another; their first meeting was in 1931.

Arizona State leads the all-time series, 3-0.

The Bulldogs and Sun Devils have not met since 1941, when Arizona State won, 26-7. (Link: Winsipedia)

2018 Las Vegas Bowl: Most Likely Standout Player

Marcus McMaryion, QB, Fresno State. With how formidble the Bulldogs defense appears to be, Arizona State might have a hard time generating offense. If so, that leaves the stage wide open for senior quarterback Marcus McMaryion to take over and do his thing. He threw only three interceptions this season in the midst of 25 touchdowns and 3,453 yards. McMaryion is not much of a dual threat but he can take off, and has 253 rushing yards this season as well.

2018 Las Vegas Bowl: Pick

Herm Edwards and his team will play to win the game, because that is what you do. Yet, they are the underdogs to an 11-win Fresno State team that slayed the Boise State Broncos on the Smurf Turf.

Fresno State had to get through some good teams to win the Mountain West, most notably Boise State. Arizona State’s best win is just as good as Fresno State’s, but when you put it all together, the Bulldogs are the better team. Give the Sun Devils credit for getting to a bowl in Edwards’ first season, though also keep in mind this was done during a down year for the Pac-12, and a very down year for the Pac-12 South. Fresno State was not in the tougher of the Mountain West divisions, but they proved their worth over the course of the season.

Wide receiver N’Keal Harry is sitting out the bowl game as he signed with an agent and is preparing for the NFL Draft. (Link: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM) This is a big blow and further reduces Arizona State’s offensive capacity for the game. He was the Sun Devils’ top receiver this season with 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Sun Devils might be able to get something going on offense, but Fresno State is more likely to be stingy with them. The Bulldogs do not make a lot of mistakes: they do not turn the ball over, they do not allow their opponents to prolong drives, and they are in the bottom-quarter of FBS in terms of penalty yardage. Further, on offense, they are efficient in converting drives into points. This might not be a high-scoring game, but while Arizona State should keep the game competitive, the better defense might be the one that seals it.

Pick: Fresno State

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