Michigan State Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell (24) runs with the ball for a five yard gain in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Michigan State won 26-10.(Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE)
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Le'Veon Bell rushed 35 times for 266 yards
and a touchdown to lift the Michigan State Spartans to a 26-10 victory over
the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Big Ten bout at TFC Bank Stadium.
Andrew Maxwell went 13-of-29 for 143 yards, one touchdown, and two
interceptions while under center for Michigan State (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten), which
became bowl eligible with the win. Bennie Fowley made an impact in the passing
game with seven receptions for 101 yards and a score. Johnny Adams had a big
time performance on the defensive side of the ball as he recorded two of the
team's four interceptions. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the
Minnesota (6-6, 2-6) was held to a season-low 96 yards of total offense and
used three different quarterbacks in the contest. Philip Nelson completed 10-
of-23 attempts for 61 yards and three interceptions, Max Shortell, who also
picked off, went 3-of-6 for 31 yards. On the defensive side of the ball,
Keanon Cooper made eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and forced a fumble as
the Golden Gophers lost their second in a row to close out the regular season.
The Spartans struck first as Dan Conroy booted a 48-yard field goal less than
four minutes after kickoff to give the visitors an early three-point lead.
Minnesota was unable to get anything going on offense, but Aaron Hill returned
an interception 33 yards across the goal line with at the 4:43 mark of the
first quarter to give it a 7-3 advantage on the scoreboard. Michigan State cut
into the deficit with a 43-yard field goal.
There were no points scored in the second quarter until Maxwell completed a
41-yard touchdown pass to Fowler with 1:28 left before the half. The big-play
concluded a 10-play, 82-yard drive and sent MSU into the intermission with a
The Spartans made it a two possession game four minutes into the second half
as Conroy connected on another 43-yard field goal. Minnesota responded with a
48-yard field goal by Jordan Wettstein with at the 7:05 point of the third
frame, but it could not manage to produce any more points the rest of the way.
Conroy converted his fourth field goal attempt four seconds into the final
quarter to give the Spartans' a 19-10 lead. Bell added insurance with an
eight-yard touchdown run for the final score of the contest.
The Golden Gophers amassed just seven first downs in the contest, one of which
was achieved via a penalty. MSU registered 21 first downs on its way to bowl
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