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Chippewas routed 41-7 by 11th-ranked Spartans

SHARE Chippewas routed 41-7 by 11th-ranked Spartans

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Central Michigan coach Dan Enos looked over the room packed with reporters and found some humor in the heavy turnout.

"Michigan State must be here," he said. "Last press conference I think was me and two other guys."

In front of a record crowd in the school's first home game against the Spartans, Central Michigan struggled to finish drives in a 41-7 loss to No. 11 Michigan State. Andrew Maxwell threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chippewas only scored on a late interception return.

The Spartans (2-0) scored 10 points in the final minute of the first half to take a 24-0 lead. Michigan State was playing at Central Michigan (1-1) as part of a decade-long series of games against the Chippewas, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.

Le'Veon Bell had 70 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns, shouldering a lighter load after carrying 44 times for 210 yards in Michigan State's opener against Boise State.

The Spartans haven't allowed an offensive touchdown this season.

"We wanted to take care of business," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. "We wanted to make sure that we were going to continue to play up, regardless of who we play against."

It was the first road game of the season for Michigan State, but there were plenty of green-clad fans in attendance about 70 miles from the Spartans' campus. Central Michigan beat Michigan State as recently as 2009, but the Spartans won this matchup 45-7 last year and this one wasn't close either.

"We were really excited to play," Central Michigan wide receiver Cody Wilson said. "It was a great atmosphere, and obviously we would have liked to get a few plays back and execute a little bit better, but things didn't work out like that today."

Bell carried Michigan State at times in a 17-13 win over Boise State, and he scored on runs of 1 and 7 yards in the first half Saturday to give the Spartans a 14-0 lead. But it wasn't until late in the second quarter that the game slipped away from the Chippewas for good.

Maxwell threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Dion Sims with 57 seconds left, and Central Michigan's Ryan Radcliff threw an interception moments later, setting up a Michigan State field goal.

Maxwell threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Bennie Fowler early in the third. He went 20 of 31 a week after throwing three interceptions against Boise State.

Radcliffe went 17 of 38 for 173 yards with two interceptions. He threw incomplete on fourth-and-10 from the Michigan State 27 in the second quarter — and twice in the second half on fourth down from the Michigan State 23.

The Chippewas did manage to go a second straight game without being called for a penalty. They also had none in a season-opening 38-27 win over Southeast Missouri State.

Nick Hill's 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth made it 41-0. Central Michigan's only points came on Jason Wilson's 55-yard interception return for a touchdown off Michigan State backup quarterback Connor Cook.

Central Michigan coach Dan Enos is a former Michigan State quarterback and was an assistant for the Spartans under Dantonio.

"In this business, you don't like playing against your friends," Enos said. "You put it aside and you move forward."

This meeting was part of a "Celebrate the State" football series Michigan State has agreed to from 2011-2020. It includes 12 games over 10 seasons, including one each for the Spartans at Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.

The attendance of 35,127 was a record for Kelly/Shorts Stadium.