Bell Jump Starts Spartans To Victory

It may not have been pretty, but Michigan State held on and road the back of junior running back Le'Veon Bell to a 17-13 victory in front of 78,709 fans in the revamped Spartan Stadium.

If the first drive by Michigan State in the 2012 season was going to be an indicator on how the year would go, Spartan fans could see a trip to the Rose Bowl or even a berth in the national championship in front of them.

The Spartans flexed their defensive muscle forcing Boise State to a 3 and out on the first drive of the game and first time starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell completed his first four pass attempts as the Spartans marched down the field capping off their opening drive with a Le'Veon Bell one yard touchdown run.

Bell, who would carry the ball 44 times against a tough Broncos defense finished the night with 210 net rushing yards and two touchdowns while also picking up another 55 yards receiving in a impressive opening night.

If not for Bell, Michigan State may not be sitting with a 1-0 record as the Spartans offense struggled keeping the ball as Maxwell was intercepted three times and the Spartans fumbled the ball away on another drive.

While the Spartans offense saw their struggles, the defense only allowed 206 yards of total offense holding the Broncos rushing attack to 37 net yards.

Broncos quarterback Joe Southwick finished the night 15-of-31 for 169 yards and one interception but the offense was only able to put three points on the board.

Plain and simple, Michigan State was it's worse enemy as the Broncos turned Maxwell interceptions into 10 points.

With a 13-10 lead over the Spartans at the end of the third quarter, some worried the BCS killers were ready to claim another victim. However, Bell came to the rescue on a nine play 56 yard drive that started with 12:40 left in the game.

Bell would carry the ball four times on the drive finishing with a five yard touchdown giving the Spartans a 17-13 advantage after Dan Conroy hit the extra point.

Next up was the Spartans defense and they delivered the final blow to the Broncos offense forcing them to go for it on fourth down. Darqueze Dennard would stop a pass intended for Kirby Moore putting the ball back in the hands of Bell who would carry nine more times helping the Spartans run down the clock and sealing the victory.

Following the game, Boise State head coach Chris Peterson had nothing but praise for Bell.

"Michigan State was playing him right in his wheelhouse," said Peterson. "He is one of those guys that if you keep giving him the ball, he is going to get stronger and eventually you are going to get worn out on defense. We need to help ourselves on offense so we don't let players like him do that to us."

Bell was quick to push the attention to those around him.

"I've got to give a lot of credit to the offensive line," said Bell. "The offensive line did a great job today. The receivers block on the edge, tight-ends and fullbacks; even Maxwell making checks at the line of scrimmage to the right play when they were showing blitz. You have to give a lot of credit to those guys."

Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio made sure to stress his team did what they needed and finished with the goal they set for the night.

"There's a sign in our building that says 'they all count one.' And right now we are 1-0, and we go to Central Michigan next week," stressed Dantonio. "That will be exciting for us I think to be back playing again. We played a tough Boise State team who has beaten Georgia, Virginia Tech and Oregon all on the road (in their last three openers). They are used to winning, confident and very well coached; to get a win is an accomplishment."

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