Facing the possibility of MSU’s first bowlless season since 2006, the MSU football team (6-6 overall, 3-5 Big Ten) bounced back to secure its sixth win and a bowl berth with a 26-10 victory at Minnesota (6-6, 2-6) Saturday afternoon.
The turning point for the Spartans came late in the second quarter, when junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell’s pass to sophomore wideout Tony Lippett was deflected, before junior wideout Bennie Fowler snatched it out of the air and raced into the end zone for a 41-yard touchdown. The score gave MSU a 13-7 lead from which the Spartans never looked back.
The MSU defense forced Gopher freshman quarterback Philip Nelson to throw four interceptions Saturday afternoon. Senior cornerback Johnny Adams picked off two Nelson passes, while redshirt freshman RJ Williamson and junior Darqueze Dennard each had picks.
Junior running back Le’Veon Bell had a statement game against the Golden Gophers, notching a career-high 266 rushing yards on 35 carries and also plunging across the goal line once for his 11th rushing touchdown of the season.
Bell’s big day ranks as the sixth-highest rushing yards in one game in MSU history.