2011 Michigan State Spartans Football

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Michigan State vs Central Michigan Football Recap

Michigan State 45, Central Michigan 7



Sure, a 38-point blowout was nice, but now, the college football community will find out if this glorified scrimmage accomplished anything for the defending Big Ten Conference champions. A team that got blasted by Notre Dame over a week ago has finally put the month of September in the rearview mirror. The urgent issue for Michigan State’s football team is to use these paycheck games like the one this past Saturday to build real momentum – and solid habits – for a new Big Ten season that’s about to start.

Michigan State merchandise The Michigan State Spartans trounced the Central Michigan Chippewas at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans dominated the first half, and had built a 31-0 lead at the break. Running back Le'Veon Bell led the Michigan State offense with three first-half touchdowns. Bell finished with 81 yards rushing, all in the first half. Michigan State outgained Central Michigan 481-112. The Spartans' attack was balanced, with 284 yards passing and 197 rushing. Kirk Cousins completed 13 of 22 pass attempts for 213 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once. Isaiah Lewis intercepted a pass by Central Michigan quarterback Ryan Radcliff and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown to give the Spartans a 21-0 lead. Sparty handled this game with maturity, but to (necessarily) beat a dead horse, no one will know if this contest possesses any real-world value, any lasting significance, until the conference slate begins on Oct. 1 in a big battle with Ohio State in Columbus.

As for Central Michigan, it was hard to take much of anything positive from this contest, yet another one of the Big Ten’s many beatdowns of the Mid-American Conference , a rite of each and every September. Radcliff struggled under center for the Chips, completing 11 of 29 pass attempts for 87 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Central Michigan gained just 21 yards on the ground and was thoroughly smothered by a Michigan State team that knows how to lock down inferior opponents. Michigan State didn’t allow either Youngstown State or Florida Atlantic to hit double-figures in points; the same held true for Central Michigan.

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The lone CMU touchdown came on a five-yard pass from Radcliff to David Blackburn, set up by a blocked punt early in the third quarter. Michigan State regained its 31-point lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Larry Caper. CMU has now lost three in a row, and is 0-3 against FBS opponents.

Michigan State was able to bounce back from its loss at Notre Dame, and is now 3-1 entering Big Ten play.

It was the Chippewas' first visit to Spartan Stadium since a dramatic upset in 2009. Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos, a Michigan State alum and former Spartan assistant, competed at Spartan Stadium as a visitor for the first time.

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer


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