No. 11 Spartans Overpower Central Michigan, 41-7
Andrew Maxwell throws for 275 yards and two touchdowns
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - For a second straight week, Michigan State held an opponent without an offensive touchdown.
Defensive lineman William Gholston has even loftier goals.
"As a team we could do a whole lot more," Gholston said. "Until they don't have any yards, I don't think we will be satisfied."
That might be the only way Michigan State's defense can improve on its first two games. The 11th-ranked Spartans routed Central Michigan 41-7 on Saturday. Gholston had a sack, and Michigan State intercepted two passes and stopped the Chippewas three times on fourth down.
Andrew Maxwell threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns for the Spartans, who scored 10 points in the final minute of the first half to take a 24-0 lead. Michigan State (2-0) was playing at Central Michigan (1-1) for the first time, part of a decade-long series of games against the Chippewas, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.
"We wanted to take care of business," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. "We wanted to make sure that we were going to continue to play up, regardless of who we play against."
Le'Veon Bell had 70 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns, shouldering a lighter load after carrying 44 times for 210 yards in Michigan State's opener against Boise State. The only two touchdowns the Spartans have allowed this season have some on interception returns.
This was the first road game of the season for Michigan State, but there were plenty of green-clad fans in attendance about 70 miles from the Spartans' campus. Central Michigan beat Michigan State as recently as 2009, but the Spartans won the matchup 45-7 last year and this one wasn't close either.
Bell carried Michigan State at times in a 17-13 win over Boise State, and he scored on runs of 1 and 7 yards in the first half Saturday to give the Spartans a 14-0 lead. But it wasn't until late in the second quarter that the game slipped away from the Chippewas for good.
Maxwell threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Dion Sims with 57 seconds left, and Central Michigan's Ryan Radcliff threw an interception moments later, setting up a Michigan State field goal.
Maxwell threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Bennie Fowler early in the third. He went 20 of 31 a week after throwing three interceptions against Boise State.
The Spartans threw for 322 yards and ran for 173 against Central Michigan after relying heavily on Bell the week before.
"You never want to be an offense that's one-dimensional, because once you're one-dimensional, soon you can be no-dimensional," Maxwell said.
Radcliffe went 17 of 38 for 173 yards with two interceptions. He threw incomplete on fourth-and-10 from the Michigan State 27 in the second quarter - and twice in the second half on fourth down from the Michigan State 23.
The Chippewas did manage to go a second straight game without being called for a penalty. They also had none in a season-opening 38-27 win over Southeast Missouri State.
Nick Hill's 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth made it 41-0. Central Michigan's only points came on Jason Wilson's 55-yard interception return for a touchdown off Michigan State backup quarterback Connor Cook.
Central Michigan coach Dan Enos is a former Michigan State quarterback and was an assistant for the Spartans under Dantonio.
"In this business, you don't like playing against your friends," Enos said. "You put it aside and you move forward."
This meeting was part of a "Celebrate the State" football series Michigan State has agreed to from 2011-2020. It includes 12 games over 10 seasons, including one each for the Spartans at Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan.
The attendance of 35,127 was a record for Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
"It was a little different, a little smaller environment but at the end of the day it's all football," said Michigan State's Johnny Adams, who had an interception in the second quarter. "It's good for the fans, it's good for Central to bring the fans out here and put on a great show."