Michigan State used a strong rushing attack and a stifling defense to confound Florida Atlantic and cruise to a 44-0 win on Saturday.
After struggling with FCS Youngstown State in its opener last week, MSU had no trouble dispatching FAU. The Owls shockingly managed only one first down — which came in the second quarter — on 48 yards of offense.
MSU meanwhile picked up 27 first downs and was able to use three quarterbacks, with starter Kirk Cousins playing on and off in the second half. He finished 17-of-23 for 192 yards and two touchdowns.
Le’Veon Bell and Edwin Baker both had short touchdown runs in the first half to put the Spartans up 14-0 early. MSU went up 20-0 after a pair of Dan Conroy field goals, all before the Owls even got a first down in the stat book.
Cousins tossed a touchdown pass with 11 seconds left in the first half, a 1-yard fade route to Dion Sims, to give MSU a 27-0 advantage at halftime.
B.J. Cunningham set the MSU career record for receptions in the first quarter, catching five passes for 73 yards on the game.
MSU picked up right where they left off in the third quarter when Cousins found Garrett Celek, brother of Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek, for an 8-yard score.
The Spartans tacked on their final touchdown in the fourth quarter when Jeremy Langford took a fumble by FAU’s Xavier Stinson back 37 yards for a touchdown.
Final Statistical Leaders
Cousins, MSU: 17/23, 192 yards, 2 TDs
Graham Wilbert, FAU: 4/10, 15 yards
Bell, MSU: 14 carries, 68 yards, TD
Nick Hill, MSU: 14 carries, 56 yards
Edwin Baker, MSU: 9 carries, 50 yards, TD
Alfred Morris FAU: 11 carries, 22 yards
Cunningham, MSU: 5 rec, 73 yards
Keshawn Martin, MSU: 7 rec, 72 yards
DeAndre Richardson, FAU: 2 rec, 16 yards