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.