December 16, 2018 / 3:51 AM / a month ago

Bowl roundup: Rushing Rivers lifts No. 21 Bulldogs in Vegas

Sophomore Ronnie Rivers rushed for a career-high 212 yards on 24 carries and scored two second-half touchdowns as No. 21 Fresno State rallied for a 31-20 victory over Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday afternoon at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Dec 15, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, United States; Fresno State Bulldogs running back Ronnie Rivers (20) rushes for a touchdown during the second half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Rivers had scoring runs of 68 and 5 yards as Fresno State (12-2) hit the 12-win mark for the first time in its 97-year history. The Bulldogs, who held the Sun Devils (7-6) to just 293 total yards, also extended their streak of holding opponents under 30 points to 25 consecutive games, tops in the nation.

Marcus McMaryion passed for 176 yards and rushed for 41 yards and a 10-yard touchdown for the Mountain West champion Bulldogs. Manny Wilkins completed 19 of 31 passes for 129 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the Sun Devils.

Arizona State sophomore running back Eno Benjamin rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown, breaking the school single-season record of 1,565 yards set by Woody Green in 1972. Benjamin finished the season with 1,642 yards.

Utah State 52, North Texas 13

Jordan Love passed for 359 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for another score as the Aggies tied their school record with their 11th win of the season in beating the Mean Green in the New Mexico Bowl at Albuquerque, N.M.

Utah State (11-2), which lost head coach Matt Wells to Texas Tech five days after a season-ending 33-24 loss at Boise State, also broke the Mountain West record for points in a season (604) set by BYU in 2001. The Aggies, who finished with a 556-313 edge in total yards, scored 618 points.

Love completed 21 of 43 passes, including a 72-yard touchdown pass to Aaren Vaughns. Quarterback Mason Fine, the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year for North Texas (9-4), pulled his left hamstring on a scramble midway through the first quarter and completed 8 of 12 passes for 59 yards and no touchdowns before departing early in the second quarter.

Georgia Southern 23, Eastern Michigan 21

Tyler Bass’ third field goal of the game, from 40 yards as time expired, was the game-winner for Georgia Southern over Eastern Michigan in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala.

Quarterback Shai Werts gained 79 yards on 16 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns for Georgia Southern (10-3), which won just two games a year ago. Wesley Kennedy III rushed for 107 yards on nine carries.

Quarterback Mike Glass III completed 17 of 25 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns for Eastern Michigan (7-6), which last won a bowl game in 1987. Arthur Jackson III caught three passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

Tulane 41, Louisiana 24

Quarterback Justin McMillan threw for 145 yards and a touchdown, and running back Darius Bradwell added 150 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Green Wave past the Ragin’ Cajuns in the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Bradwell’s first score, a 15-yard run, tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter, after Raymond Calais of Louisiana (7-7) romped 38 yards to open the scoring. In the fourth quarter, Bradwell’s 4-yard burst put Tulane up 34-24 with 3:49 left.

After the Green Wave (7-6) got the ball back on downs, McMillan rushed for a 16-yard touchdown. He earlier had connected with Terren Encalade for a 38-yard scoring strike.

Appalachian State 45, Middle Tennessee 13

Zac Thomas threw for three touchdowns and Malik Williams threw for two others as the Mountaineers won their fourth straight bowl game, routing the Blue Raiders in the New Orleans Bowl at the Superdome.

Thomas completed 15 of 24 passes for 177 yards with two interceptions. He found Henry Pearson for a 1-yard scoring strike with 45 seconds left in the first half that gave the Mountaineers (11-2) a 24-3 lead, then hit Corey Sutton for touchdowns of 17 and 11 yards in the second half as Appalachian State pulled away.

Thomas also caught a pass for a score, hauling in an 8-yard toss from Williams during a 24-point second quarter. Williams’ other pass was a 30-yard touchdown to Thomas Hennigan that put the Mountaineers ahead for good.

—Field Level Media

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