The Michigan State Spartans improved to 6-6 to wrap up their regular season, and attained bowl eligibility with a 26-10 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday. The Sparts sport just a 3-5 record in the Big Ten, but both teams have their eyes on some kind of postseason appearance.
Michigan State out-gained Minnesota by a huge margin on the ground, picking up 278 rushing yards, while holding Minnesota to a paltry 4 yards. Running back Le'Veon Bell carried the ball a whopping 35 times for 266 yards and a touchdown, while Donnell Kirkwood led the Golden Gophers with just 19 yards off of 10 carries. Philip Nelson and Max Shortell were sacked a few times, which dropped the rushing yardage down.
Minnesota head football coach Jerry Kill remained in the locker room when the rest of the team came out at halftime, and did not return to the sidelines. It's unclear why didn't return, but health issues have hampered his ability to coach before. There is no indication that health played a factor on Saturday, however.
Box Score Hero: Regardless of the final score, Michigan State got a huge game out of running back Le'Veon Bell, who carried the ball 35 times for 266 yards, good for an average of 7.6 yards per carry. Bell finally found the end zone halfway through the fourth quarter, scoring on an 8-yard rush.
Rankings Ramifications: Both teams were 2-5 within the Big Ten heading into this one, so there really are no rankings ramifications at work here.
But Did They Cover?* The Spartans opened as 9-point favorites in this one, but the line mellowed out by a point or two. Either way, they covered, while the over/under of about 38 was just about right on.
Next Week's Schedule: Both teams have finished their season, though both are bowl eligible and will be eyeing the postseason.