Sept. 6, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Javon Ringer rushed for 135 yards and a career-high five touchdowns to lead Michigan State to a 42-10 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Ringer was a workhorse for Michigan State (1-1), especially early. He carried 25 times for 105 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, sparking the Spartans to a 21-7 halftime lead.
Ringer might have had a six-TD game, but fumbled just before crossing the goal line on a 3-yard plunge on the game's opening drive. The ball was recovered by Eastern Michigan's Jermaine Jenkins for a touchback.
Ringer finished with a career-high 34 carries.
Eastern Michigan's spread offense struggled against a faster, aggressive Michigan State defensive.
The Eagles managed an 80-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at 7 early in the second quarter, capped by quarterback Andy Schmitt's 3-yard TD run. But the Spartans responded with 35 unanswered points.
Michigan State of the Big Ten owns a 37-6-2 record against current members of the Mid-American Conference. The Spartans have won 15 straight against MAC teams since stumbling twice against Central Michigan in the early 1990s.
Eastern Michigan (1-1), which hasn't had a winning season since 1995, is 0-24 all-time against Big Ten teams.
The Spartans, coming off a 38-31 season-opening loss at California, rebounded in their home opener.
Eastern Michigan blanked Indiana State in its opener, 52-0. But the Spartans were a much tougher matchup than that Football Championship Subdivision team.
Schmitt completed 11 of 23 passes for 111 yards.
Eastern Michigan was able to generate 342 yards of total offense. But the Eagles couldn't cash in on scoring opportunities.
Trailing 21-7 midway through the third quarter, a holding call nullified what would have a been a 10-yard Terrence Blevins touchdown run for the Eagles. Eastern lined up for a 22-yard field goal but ran a fake, with holder Ryan Downard stopped on the 1 yard line.
Michigan State responded with a long touchdown drive, capped by a 1-yard Ringer run, to take a 28-7 lead late in the third.