Spartans stifle sputtering Gophers
Minnesota manages just 96 yards of total offense
MINNEAPOLIS — Michigan State 26, Minnesota 10:Le’Veon Bell rushed for a career-best 266 yards and a touchdown as the Spartans became bowl-eligible with a road victory over the Golden Gophers, who finished the game without their coach, Jerry Kill.
Kill didn’t return to the field for the second half after suffering a seizure at halftime. Kill, who has a history of seizures, including suffering one after an Oct. 13 loss to Northwestern, was home resting Saturday night.
Michigan State (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) extended its school-record streak of bowl appearances to six. The Spartans’ defense held Minnesota to only four yards rushing and 96 yards of total offense, and picked off Gophers quarterbacks four times.
Bell rushed 35 times, averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Andrew Maxwell was 13-of-29 passing for 143 yards and a 41-yard touchdown to Bennie Fowler that put Michigan State ahead for good with 1:28 to play in the first half.
Minnesota (6-6, 2-6) got its only touchdown when Aaron Hill picked off Maxwell and returned it 33 yards for a score in the first quarter.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Bell became the seventh player in Michigan State history to go over 3,000 yards rushing in a career. … Minnesota managed only seven first downs in the game, the first time the Gophers have failed to record 10 or more first downs since a Nov. 12, 2011 loss to Wisconsin. … Michigan State leads the series 28-17.