Sept. 3, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Junior running back Le'Veon Bell has collected several weekly honors after his career night helped lead Michigan State past No. 24 Boise State last Friday.
On Monday, Bell was named the Big Ten Offensive Co-Player of the Week by the conference office and also the Big Ten Player of the Week by ESPN.com. In addition, he was named the Heisman Player of the Week by CBSSports.com.
Bell set career highs for rushing attempts (44), rushing yards (210), receptions (6), receiving yards (55) and all-purpose yards (265) against the Broncos. He outgained the entire Boise State offense, 210-206, and 84 of his 210 yards came after contact.
"Le'Veon had a very good performance against Boise State, but it was not a surprise to us," said running backs coach Brad Salem. "We get a chance to see all of the things he's capable of every day in practice. He's the complete package at the running back position: he has the ability to run with the ball and make people miss, the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, and the ability to block in pass protection. It's a great honor for him and his teammates to represent the Spartans as Big Ten Player of the Week."
Bell scored two rushing touchdowns, including the game winner, a 5-yard run with 8:12 remaining in the fourth quarter that put MSU up for good, 17-13. He has now scored two rushing TDs in each of the last three season openers (vs. Western Michigan in 2010, vs. Youngstown State in 2011 and Boise State in 2012).
Bell's 210 rushing yards tied for the 23rd-highest single-game total in school history, and he became the first Spartan running back to eclipse the 200-yard mark since Javon Ringer gained 201 yards on 39 rushes against Notre Dame in 2008. The 210 rushing yards were also the most by a Big Ten running back in a season opener since Purdue's Ralph Bolden in 2009 (234 vs. Toledo) and the most by a Spartan in an opener since T.J. Duckett in 2000 (219 vs. Marshall).
In addition, Bell's 265 all-purpose yards rank as the 10th-highest single-game total in Spartan history, and his 44 carries tied for fourth most in school history.
This marks the third weekly Big Ten honor of Bell's career. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice in 2010.
Michigan State returns to action Sept. 8 to take on Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant at 3:30 p.m.