Sept. 20, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior punter/holder Aaron Bates and freshman running back Le'Veon Bell were honored by the Big Ten Conference on Monday following their performances in Michigan State's 34-31 overtime win over Notre Dame last Saturday. Bates was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, while Bell was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
Bates provided the key play against the Irish, throwing a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Charlie Gantt off a fake field-goal attempt in overtime to give Michigan State the victory. In addition, Bates averaged 45.4 yards on eight punts, including two kicks downed inside the Irish 20-yard line. This marks the first time in Bates' career he has been named Big Ten Player of the Week.
Bates is now 2-for-2 in his career passing, as he also completed a pass on a fake field goal to Gantt for 18 yards in the 2010 Alamo Bowl vs. Texas Tech.
Bell, who has earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors twice in three weeks, rushed 17 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. His 16-yard TD run with 5:51 left in the third quarter gave MSU a 21-14 lead. On the previous play, he kept the drive alive with a 12-yard reception from Kirk Cousins on a third-and-11 play from the Notre Dame 28. Bell has rushed for more than 100 yards in two of his first three games in a Spartan uniform.
No. 25/23 Michigan State (3-0) returns to action Saturday, Sept. 25 as it hosts Northern Colorado (2-1) in Spartan Stadium. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.