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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Le’Veon Bell gets 50 touches in Michigan State’s win

Le’Veon Bell has joined Johnathan Franklin as an early Heisman Trophy favorite. The junior running back from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, set a career high with an absurd 50 touches during Michigan State’s 17-13 win over Boise State on Friday.

Bell carried the ball 44 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns and caught six passes for 55 yards. The highlight came when Michigan State was at its four-yard line in the third quarter and it looked like Bell was going to be stuffed on a 3rd-and-16 play. Instead, Bell dodged a handful of Broncos on his way to a sick 35-yard run where he crossed the field.

You hardly see players accumulate so many carries these days, and 50 touches is really unheard of at most levels. Bell’s previous career-high for carries was 20, and his high for touches in a game was 22. Feeding Bell the ball seemed like the Spartans’ game plan.

Bell carried the ball 8 times on Michigan State’s 12-play opening drive that produced a touchdown. He carried the ball 13 of their first 20 plays. He also produced this sweet highlight when he hurdled a defender:

It will be tough for Bell to continue with a workload like that, but the numbers put him in the early Heisman conversation. His real test will come in October when the team travels to Michigan and Wisconsin in back-to-back weeks.

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