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(Saturday, November 24)
Final Score: Michigan State 26, Minnesota 10
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 Spartans.
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. Minnesota played the second half without coach Jerry Kill after he suffered a seizure in the locker room during the intermission.
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 13-7 lead.
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 eligibility.
11/24 20:32:44 ET
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