It wasn't pretty at times but with 51 true and redshirt freshmen on the roster, the young Spartans certainly have a confidence-building win.
Brian Lewerke completed 22 of 33 pass attempts for 250 yards and three touchdowns, and Michigan Stave overcame a sluggish start to post its 20th straight home-opening win.
Felton Davis, Michigan State's leading returning wide receiver, caught two touchdown passes, including an 8-yard jump ball in the corner of the end zone. Tight end Matt Sokol grabbed the other scoring pass from Lewerke.
The Spartans' defense was stellar as expected, allowing the Falcons' offense a total of 212 yards.
Cornerback Tyson Smith, a junior who suffered a stroke in November, returned an interception 36 yards for a score.
The Falcons' only touchdown came when running back L.J. Scott fumbled for a second time early in the fourth quarter. Bowling Green defensive back Cameron Jefferies picked up the loose ball and scampered 46 yards for the score.