3 Total Updates since September 20, 2011
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
History did not repeat itself Saturday in East Lansing.
Central Michigan may have hoped to catch Michigan State sulking a week after losing to Notre Dame and escape Spartan Stadium once again with an upset victory. In 2009, the Chippewas beat the Spartans, 29-27, one week after MSU lost a 33-30 heartbreaker to Notre Dame.
But after falling to the Fighting Irish last week, 31-13, Michigan State certainly had no hangover as they followed up once again with CMU. Instead, the Spartans took out their frustrations on the Chippewas in a 45-7 rout.
Michigan State’s defense forced four turnovers on the day. Central Michigan quarterback A.J. Westendorp threw two interceptions, one of which was returned 37 yards for a touchdown by safety Isaiah Lewis to give the Spartans a 21-0 second quarter lead.
Trenton Robinson, linebacker Max Bullough and safety Kurtis Drummond notched the other three interceptions for Michigan State.
The Chippewas’ offense managed only 112 yards of total offense and seven first downs in the game. 90 of those yards came through the air. Westendorp completed only 1-of-4 passes for four yards, while Ryan Radcliff threw for 86 yards on 11-of-29 passing. Each quarterback was picked off twice.
On the ground, Central Michigan averaged 1.2 yards per rush. Westendrop led the Chippewas in rushing with 15 yards on two carries. Running backs Tim Phillips and Anthony Garland combined for 17 yards on 14 carries.
A blocked punt led to CMU’s only touchdown. The Chippewas recovered the ball on the MSU 13-yard line after Kevin King blocked the kick. Three plays later, Radcliff hit David Blackburn for a five-yard TD pass.
Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins racked up the 18th 200-yard passing game of his career, completing 13-of-22 yards for 213 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game in the third quarter. Backup QB Andrew Maxwell was impressive in mop-up time, completing 7-of-8 passes for 71 yards and a score.
The Spartans probably would’ve liked to see more from their running game today as they prepare for Big Ten conference play. Le’Veon Bell ran for 81 yards on eight carries and scored three touchdowns, all in the first half. Larry Caper carried 16 times for 51 yards, and Edwin Bell added 49 yards on 16 carries.
MSU opens conference play next week at Ohio State.
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Any worries that Michigan State might suffer from a hangover following last week’s loss at Notre Dame have been quickly put down. The Spartans hold a 31-0 lead over Central Michigan at halftime in East Lansing.
The ground attack has led the way for the Spartans’ offense. Le’Veon Bell has rushed for 81 yards on eight carries, also running for three touchdowns. Edwin Baker has added 43 yards rushing, on 12 carries.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown for 142 yards, completing 9-of-17 passes. Receiver B.J. Cunningham leads Michigan State with three receptions for 67 yards.
Central Michigan hasn’t been able to do much against the Spartans’ defense, generating only 57 yards of total offense in the first half. Quarterback A.J. Westendorp threw for only four yards on 1-of-4 passing. He also leads the Chippewas in rushing with 15 yards on two carries.
Michigan State forced three CMU turnovers in the first half, helping to shut down the Chippewas’ offense. Safety Isaiah Lewis returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, giving the Spartans a 21-0 lead.
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
(Sports Network) - Michigan State is no longer in the national rankings and the team will be looking to take its frustration out on an opponent. That does not bode well for the Central Michigan Chippewas, who will take the field this Saturday at Spartan Stadium against the Spartans.
This will be the third straight road game for the Chippewas and coach Dan Enos is hoping for a better showing than the previous two. After claiming a 21-6 victory over South Carolina State in their opener, the Chippewas went on the road to face Kentucky and Western Michigan, and were defeated handily in both contests.
The Spartans climbed as high as 15th in the rankings, but the team did not face an equal opponent in its first two games, clobbering both Youngstown State and Florida Atlantic. The Spartans finally took on an quality foe this past weekend and the outcome was not good, as MSU got trounced by Notre Dame, 31-13. The loss led to Michigan State's exit from the top-25.
This series is closer than one might expect. Through seven games the Spartans only hold a 4-3 edge over the Chippewas. Central Michigan won the first two meetings in 1991 and 1992, followed by four straight wins for the Spartans. CMU got back into the win column in the last matchup, defeating Michigan State in thrilling fashion, 29-27.
It wasn't long ago that the Chippewas were a dangerous offensive unit, but last year the team took a major step backwards and through three games this season Central Michigan has not done much to be considered a potent unit.
Even in the team's victory over SCSU, the Chippewas tallied just 21 points on 256 total yards of production. Those are not overwhelming numbers for a team that just two years ago was averaging 33.9 ppg.
Coach Enos was hoping to see improvement from Ryan Radcliff after last season, but so far the quarterback has been mediocre at best. Through three games, Radcliff has thrown for just 678 yards and three touchdowns against four interceptions.
This past weekend Radcliff finished with 215 yards against Western Michigan, but did not throw a touchdown in the loss. The only score from the offense came from Tim Phillips, who stepped in for an injured Zurlon Tipton. Phillips was impressive in the loss, rushing for 84 yards on only 11 carries. As a team CMU finished with 147 rushing yards, and that type of success will be needed on the ground, especially while Radcliff figures things out.
Phillips will likely see more work this weekend, but he will have a tough time finding room against a Michigan State defense looking to rebound from a poor effort against Notre Dame.
The CMU defense has played well in the first two games, but against Western Michigan the Chippewas were torched through the air. CMU surrendered 355 passing yards and three touchdown passes against the Broncos and that lack of success could be exploited by Michigan State this Saturday.
Since Western Michigan had so much success through the air against the Chippewas the Broncos did not worry much about running the ball and finished with just 82 yards on 2.6 yards per attempt. However, coach Enos' squad has played well against the run, limiting opponents to just 125.3 yards per game.
The Spartans scored only 13 points in the loss to Notre Dame and coach Mark Dantonio will definitely have this offense ready to bounce back on Saturday. Quarterback Kirk Cousin enters this matchup wide-eyed after seeing the damage WMU created through the air against CMU's secondary.
So far the quarterback has thrown for 734 yards and four touchdowns on the year, and will likely look the way of B.J. Cunningham often, as the receiver is currently leading the team with 24 receptions and 361 yards.
Cousin threw for 329 yards and one score in the loss to Notre Dame, but because the team was well behind the Fighting Irish, the quarterback had to throw 53 times. Another reason for the high number is because the rushing attack did nothing against the Irish, as the Spartans finished with just 29 yards on 23 carries.
Clearly it was a lopsided effort by the Michigan State offense, but this could be an ongoing issue for the Spartans, who have trouble finding consistency on the ground. Through the first three games, the Spartans are averaging just 125.3 ypg on 3.4 yards per carry.
Edwin Baker has started all three games for Michigan State and is leading the team with 167 yards, but Le'Von Bell might be the best option out of the backfield as he comes into this weekend with 136 yards and a team-best three touchdowns.
The ground game is going to have to improve, but for this week, look for Michigan State to exploit CMU's weak secondary with a gameplan that is loaded with pass plays.
Michigan State opened the year with two lightweight opponents, which did not pose a threat to the defense. However, this past weekend the Spartans took on a Notre Dame squad that has been solid and if not for a boat-load of turnovers the Irish could possibly have entered the game with two wins, instead of two losses.
IT was the first true test for the defense and unfortunately for the faithful in East Lansing, the Spartans failed. Michigan State was not overwhelmed by Notre Dame though. In fact, the Spartans surrendered just 275 total yards.
There were some cracks up front, as the Irish finished with 114 yards and scored twice on the ground. Those were the first two rushing touchdowns allowed by Michigan State, which comes into this weekend holding opponents to just 88.0 rushing yards per contest.
The Spartans did force two turnovers in the loss, but did not get great pressure on Notre Dame's quarterback, finishing the game with one sack. It clearly wasn't the best effort for Michigan State. Look for this defense to rebound in a huge way against a much weaker Central Michigan squad.
Michigan State might have lost to Notre Dame by an 18-point margin, but the Spartans were not that bad in the matchup. Even though coach Dantonio's team dropped out of the Top-25, the Spartans should be back among the best in the country after a couple of convincing victories. One of those wins will come this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan State 34, Central Michigan 7