Associated Press Photo
EAST LANSING, Mich. (Sports Network) - Le'Veon Bell rushed for a career-high 253 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries as No. 21 Michigan State outlasted Eastern Michigan, 23-7, on Saturday.
Dion Sims caught six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown and Andrew Maxwell completed 16-of-29 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown for the Spartans (3-1), who bounced back from a disappointing 20-3 loss to Notre Dame last week.
Garrett Hoskins caught eight passes for 102 yards and Tyler Benz threw for 137 yards and a touchdown on 13-of-26 passing for the Eagles (0-4), who are 0-9 all-time against Michigan State.
Trailing 7-6 late in the third quarter, Dan Conroy put the Spartans on top, 9-7, with a 35-yard field goal after MSU's drive stalled on the Eastern Michigan 18.
The Spartans added a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.
Maxwell found Sims in the end zone on 3rd-and-goal from the 10 to cap a 12- play, 89-yard march in the early parts of the final stanza.
After stopping the Eagles on 4th-down with just under five minutes to play, Michigan State turned to a combination of Bell and Sims, who led the Spartans down the field in six plays before Bell bulled his way across the goal line from 1 yard out.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Conroy, who missed a 39-yarder earlier, finally got the Spartans on the board after splitting the uprights from 35 yards out, capping a 12-play, 74-yard march.
The Eagles answered with 3:58 remaining in the first half when Benz found Donald Scott in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown.
Eastern Michigan forced a fumble on the MSU 28 and needed just one play to find the end zone. Benz delivered a strike to Scott in the middle of the field, splitting a pair of defenders, and the lanky receiver made a highlight- reel catch to put the Eagles in front.
Michigan State cut its deficit to 7-6 when Conroy booted a 44-yard field goal in the third quarter. The Spartans went to Bell on five straight plays before they were stopped on third down and settled for the field goal.