Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio essentially guaranteed his team would win on Saturday at Minnesota.
He proved prophetic as Le’Veon Bell ran for a career-best 266 yards and a touchdown to lead the Spartans to a 26-10 victory and clinch a bowl berth for the sixth straight season.
Bell became the second-leading rusher in Michigan State history as well as just the seventh back in Michigan State history to go over 3,000 yards for his career. He has 1,648 yards this season, bettering Javon Ringer’s 1,637 in 2008.
Michigan State (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) will play in a bowl game for the sixth straight season, also a school best.
The Spartans will likely head to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 29.
It was a dominating performance on the stat sheet for Michigan State, which did not allow Minnesota to reach 100 total yards.
Michigan State had 423 total yards, including 280 on the ground. In fact, Minnesota’s only score came when Aaron Hill returned an Andrew Maxwell interception 33 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Maxwell finished 13-for-29 for 143 yards and one touchdown, a 41-yarder to Bennie Fowler, who had seven catches for 101 yards.
The Spartans dominated on defense, as well, intercepting four passes and not allowing an opposing offense in the end zone for the fourth time this season.
Minnesota (6-6, 2-6) never got much going offensively, picking up just seven first downs for the game. However, the Gophers are still bowl eligible in coach Jerry Kill’s second season.
Kill, who has had a history of seizures, did not return to the sidelines for the start of the second half. No further information was released.