EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Joe Southwick's pass on fourth down was broken up, and another Boise State drive ended without a touchdown.
It turned out to be the Broncos' last chance. On a night when Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell outgained the Broncos all by himself, they never got the ball back.
"He's one of those guys that if you keep giving him the ball he's going to get stronger," Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. "They have a big offensive line. Eventually you're going to get worn out on defense. We've got to be able to help ourselves on the other side of the ball, but we didn't do that."
Bell ran for a career-high 210 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 8:12 remaining in No. 13 Michigan State's 17-13 victory over No. 24 Boise State on Friday night.
In a sloppy season opener, the Spartans turned the ball over four times and trailed 13-10 before Bell scored from 5 yards out midway through the fourth quarter. The Broncos drove to the Michigan State 42, but Southwick's pass on fourth-and-2 was incomplete.
Bell and the Spartans (1-0) then ran off the final 6:32.
"I had no idea how many carries or yards I had. It was the most I've had in my collegiate career," Bell said. "But I've still got a lot of things to work on to get better."
Boise State (0-1) was sluggish in its first game after losing standouts Kellen Moore and Doug Martin from last season's explosive offense. The Broncos' only touchdown came on Jeremy Ioane's 43-yard interception return in the second quarter.
"We've got to do better in the red zone and we've got to be able to run the ball better," Petersen said. "If we do those two things we'll be OK on offense."
Bell became Michigan State's undisputed top running back when Edwin Baker left to enter the NFL draft after last season. His workload certainly increased Friday. His 44 carries more than doubled his previous career high of 20, and the junior also set career marks with six receptions for 55 yards.
The Spartans outgained Boise State 461 yards to 206.
"Michigan State has a great defense. There's no hiding that," Southwick said. "They did a great job all night up front, in the box taking care of the run and putting pressure. Hats off to them. They did a great job."
Michigan State leaned on Bell, especially after new starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell threw three first-half interceptions. Maxwell finished 22 of 38 for 248 yards.