Keene throws 2 TDs, Fresno State forces 8 turnovers in 29-0 win over Arizona State
Sun, Sep 17, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Mikey Keene threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, Fresno State's defense forced eight turnovers and the Bulldogs rolled to a 29-0 win over Arizona State on Saturday night.
It was Fresno State's second win over a Power Five team in three weeks after also beating Purdue 39-35 on Sept. 2.
Arizona State was shut out for the first time since 2008 and the first time at home since 1988. Both those games were against USC.
Keene played his high school football in suburban Phoenix, about 10 miles from Arizona State's campus. He originally enrolled at UCF, playing two seasons before transferring to Fresno State.
The quarterback went to work immediately against Arizona State's defense, completing all six of his passes for 75 yards on the opening drive, capped by a 19-yard throw over the middle to Jalen Moss for a touchdown. Dylan Lynch's 39-yard field goal later in the first quarter made it 10-0.
Meanwhile, Arizona State's offense was struggling and sloppy. Trenton Bourguet - starting for the injured Jaden Rashada - threw an interception on his first drive and then got hurt on the next, limping off the field with the team's medical staff. Drew Pyne entered for Bourguet and fumbled on his first play after being sacked. The ball was recovered by Fresno State.
Lynch added a 30-yard field goal on the ensuing drive for a 13-0 lead with 12:23 left in the second quarter.
Pyne fumbled again on Arizona State's next drive, giving Fresno State the ball at the Sun Devils 13, and that eventually resulted in Lynch's third field goal and a 16-0 lead.
Fresno State pushed ahead 23-0 early in the third on a 42-yard touchdown from Keene to Jaelen Gill. Erik Brooks finished with 11 catches for 104 yards.
By the end of the game, Arizona State was using fourth-string quarterback Jacob Conover. The Sun Devils lost three fumbles and threw five interceptions - one by Bourguet and two each by Conover and Pyne.
Fresno State looks like it'll be a force in the Mountain West this season. If anything, the margin of victory on Saturday felt like it could have been much larger.
Arizona State's first season under 32-year-old coach Kenny Dillingham is shaping up to be a rough one. The Sun Devils have a banged-up offense and don't appear to have a lot of obvious wins left on their schedule. It doesn't get any easier next week against USC.
Fresno State was already receiving a few votes in the poll, so a lopsided win over a Power Five school should certainly help them gain more recognition.
Fresno State hosts Kent State next Saturday.
Arizona State hosts No. 5 USC next Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-pollDAVID BRANDT Sports Reporter based in Phoenix twitter mailto "