Sept. 6, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell, who gained 141 yards on just 10 carries and scored twice in MSU's 38-14 season-opening victory over Western Michigan, has been selected Big Ten Freshman of the Week, sharing the honor with Penn State quarterback Rob Bolden.
In addition to his selection as Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week, Bell has been named honorable mention Running Back Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Bell became the first freshman running back in MSU history to rush for more than 100 yards in his debut. He also scored on runs of 2 and 18 yards against the Broncos. He rushed six times for 108 yards in the first half alone, and his 75-yard run around right end set up the Spartans' third touchdown.
"It's exciting anytime one of our players is honored by the Big Ten," MSU running backs coach Brad Salem said. "Le'Veon Bell played very well, especially considering it was his first collegiate game. He was really into the game both mentally and physically. Le'Veon made plays with the ball in his hands, and he did all the little things well, like stepping up in pass protection. So Le'Veon had a great individual performance and really showcased his physical abilities."
Bell (141 yards) and Edwin Baker (117 yards) combined to rush for 258 yards against Western Michigan. It marked the first time MSU had two 100-yard rushers in the same game since Javon Ringer (156 yards) and Drew Stanton (105 yards) accomplished the feat in a 38-23 win at Pittsburgh in 2006. It also marked the first time two Spartan running backs had rushed for more than 100 yards in a game since Jehuu Caulcrick (146 yards) and Jason Teague (112 yards) teamed up for 258 yards in a 49-14 victory over No. 4 Wisconsin in 2004.
MSU's 297 rushing yards against WMU is the highest single-game total since the Spartans amassed 386 yards in a 52-27 Homecoming win over Indiana in 2007.
"The entire offense was excited about Le'Veon and Edwin Baker both rushing for more than 100 yards," Salem said. "They really complemented each other. It sure was nice to see the running game get off to such a good start. The offensive line, tight ends, fullbacks and receivers all did a great job blocking on Saturday."