EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — After perhaps the most impressive offensive performance in the country during college football's opening week, Le'Veon Bell needed about a day to recover.
"I was sore, just like any other game I would be sore," Bell said Tuesday. "My legs were a little tired but once I got that run in the next day my legs loosened up and I really got my body back. I felt great in practice today."
Bell was a part-time running back his first two seasons at Michigan State, but he looks ready for a much bigger role in 2012. With the Spartans struggling through a 17-13 win over Boise State on Friday night, Bell ran for 210 yards on 44 carries and also added six receptions.
At times, he seemed like Michigan State's entire offense.
"I think he's the same player he's been. He worked hard," coach Mark Dantonio said. "He's always prepared well and played hard, going back to his freshman year. He's done this for a couple of years, and he's going into his third year. The opportunity presented itself more maybe Friday night and he took advantage of it."
Bell was competing with Edwin Baker the last two seasons. As a freshman, he rushed for 605 yards. Last season, it was 948 yards and 13 touchdowns.
When Baker decided to leave and pursue the NFL, Bell suddenly figured to become the focal point of the running game.
Before Friday, his career high was 20 carries. Offensive coordinator Dan Roushar told him to be ready, and Bell was expecting about 20 to 25 touches. He ended up more than doubling that and scoring both Michigan State touchdowns.
There was even a big block he threw in pass protection on Michigan State's winning drive.
Now there's even some — very early — talk of him being a Heisman Trophy candidate.