Michigan State rallied in the fourth quarter to avoid a season-opening upset by the Boise St. Broncos, winning, 17-13, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. This was Boise State's fourth consecutive year opening its season against a ranked opponent, but the first time they were unable to get the win.
Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell was a one-man wrecking crew, as he set a career-high by rushing for 210 yards on 44 carries with two touchdowns. He also caught six receptions for 55 yards.
The passing game for Michigan State did not fare well under new quarterback Andrew Maxwell, who threw three interceptions with one returned for a touchdown by Boise State's Jeremy Ioane. With the passing struggles, the Spartans leaned heavily on Bell, who was able to shred the Boise State defense.
For a long stretch in the second half, it looked like the Broncos were going to squeak out a three-point win. Michigan State was able to score the only touchdown in the half with 7:43 left in the game on a nine-play, 56-yard drive that was capped off with a 5-yard touchdown run by Bell.
The key play came with 6:38 remaining in the fourth quarter with Boise State trailing, 17-13. On fourth-and-2 at Michigan State's 42, the Broncos ran a quick option play which was enough for a first down, but the Spartans had called a defensive timeout just before the ball was snapped. On the second fourth down attempt, Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick threw an incomplete pass.
Michigan State then methodically drove the ball down the field, collecting first downs until time expired.