Central Michigan routed by Michigan State 45-7
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP)
Central Michigan coach Dan Enos had a tough time facing his former boss.
He's not too pleased with his quarterback situation, either.
Le'Veon Bell ran for 81 yards and three touchdowns - all in the first half - to lead Michigan State to a 45-7 victory over the Chippewas on Saturday. The Spartans bounced back from last weekend's loss at Notre Dame, taking advantage of four Central Michigan turnovers.
It was a difficult homecoming for Enos, who played for Michigan State and was an assistant there under Spartans coach Mark Dantonio.
''It was very uncomfortable,'' Enos said. ''I didn't know how I was going to feel until I got here. Coach D means a lot to me and my family. He's a good man.''
Isaiah Lewis returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown, helping Michigan State (3-1) race to a 31-0 halftime lead.
Radcliff, however, went 11 of 29 for 87 yards with two interceptions.
''There's plays to tease you,'' Enos said. ''There's three plays in a row where you go: 'He's on. He's doing what he's coached to do.' Then we'll have a couple in a row where he's not doing that. We just need him to be more consistent.''
After struggling to run the ball against Notre Dame, the Spartans immediately re-established that part of their offense. Michigan State's first five plays were runs by Edwin Baker. Then Kirk Cousins threw deep to B.J. Cunningham for a 54-yard gain to the Central Michigan 1-yard line.
Bell scored on the next play.
Cousins threw an interception early in the second quarter, but Radcliff returned the favor. Michigan State's Trenton Robinson intercepted his pass at the 3-yard line and returned it 34 yards. The Spartans then moved down the field with five straight runs, capped by Bell's touchdown from 5 yards out.
A.J. Westendorp came on at quarterback for Central Michigan but quickly threw two interceptions. The first one was returned for a touchdown by Lewis.
''Whoever's back there, I'm going to support them as much as I can and try to get open for them,'' Central Michigan wide receiver Cody Wilson said.
Enos eventually went back to Radcliff but said Westendorp would have stayed in had he played better.
''If he would have played well or just decent he would have played the rest of the game,'' Enos said.
Bell's 13-yard touchdown with 1:23 left in the second quarter made it 31-0.
Cousins wasn't especially sharp, going 13 of 22 for 213 yards for the Spartans. He did throw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Larry Caper in the third quarter before being relieved by backup Andrew Maxwell.
Maxwell threw his first career touchdown pass, a 3-yarder to Dion Sims in the fourth.
Michigan State was missing three recently injured offensive linemen, but the Spartans looked strong enough up front in their last game before Big Ten play begins. They'll be tested a lot more next month, when they face Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Saturday's game was part of a ''Celebrate the State'' series in which Michigan State is to play a dozen games between 2011 and 2020 against either Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan or Western Michigan, including one road game against each. The Spartans are scheduled to play at Central Michigan next September.
The Chippewas beat Michigan State 29-27 on a last-second field goal in the teams' previous meeting, in 2009. This one wasn't close. The Spartans outgained Central Michigan 481-112, and the turnovers only made Michigan State's job easier.
''What happened two years ago - everybody was still feeling that loss,'' Robinson said. ''We just wanted to go out there and dominate.''