EAST LANSING, Mich. - After keeping within striking distance for the first quarter, turnovers throughout the rest of the game doomed the Central Michigan football team as it fell 45-7 to Michigan State in East Lansing Saturday afternoon.
Central Michigan (1-3) quarterbacks Ryan Radcliff and A.J. Westendorp each threw two interceptions in front of a crowd of 72,119 at Spartan Stadium, leading to 17 points for the Spartans (3-1). The 72,119 marks the tenth-highest attendance all time for a Central Michigan football game.
The Chippewas trailed 7-0 after the first quarter, and had momentum after junior safety Jahleel Addae recorded his first career interception at the 13:20 mark in the second quarter, but those 17 points by Michigan State off three CMU interceptions on consecutive possessions put the Chippewas down 24-0 halfway through the second quarter, and the Spartans didn't look back the rest of the game.
Addae also added a team-high ten tackles, nine of which came in the first half.
Michigan State went up 14-0 after an interception by Radcliff at the 12:30 mark in the second led to a five yard rushing touchdown by Le'Veon Bell just two minutes later.
Westendorp came in for Radcliff on the next CMU drive, but threw an interception at his own 37 yard line that was returned for a touchdown up the CMU sideline for a 21-0 lead.
After tossing another interception on the following possession that led to a 23 yard field goal by the Spartans, Westendorp was replaced by Radcliff.
The Spartans took a 31-0 lead into halftime on a 13 yard run by Bell just before the half.
Radcliff was intercepted in the middle of the field on the Chippewas' first possession of the second half, but momentum swung briefly in the Maroon and Gold's favor after the defense stopped the Spartans near midfield. Redshirt freshman defensive back Kevin King blocked a punt that bounced all the way to the MSU 13 yard line, where it was recovered by freshman linebacker Cody Lopez.
Radcliff found senior tight end David Blackburn in the corner of the endzone for a five-yard touchdown pass three plays later to pull within 31-7.
Michgan State quickly retook momentum with a six-play, 70 yard drive that ended in a 15 yard touchdown pass from Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins to running back Larry Caper with 6:45 remaining in the quarter to take a 38-7 lead.
The Spartans capped their scoring at the 11:02 mark in the fourth quarter with a three yard pass from sophomore quarterback Andrew Maxwell to tight end Dion Sims.
Offense was difficult to come by for the Chippewas, who mustered just 112 total yards on 51 plays against the fourth-ranked total defense in the country, including just 21 rushing yards on 18 attempts.
Radcliff completed 11-of-29 passes for 87 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Junior wide receiver Cody Wilson recorded 31 receiving yards on three receptions to lead the Chippewas, extending his consecutive games with a catch streak to 23.
The Spartans, meanwhile, racked up 481 yards on 77 plays, including 284 passing yards.
Central Michigan is now 3-5 all-time against Michigan State, and 4-21 against the Big Ten.
The Chippewas are next in action against Northern Illinois Oct. 1 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium at 3:30 p.m. The game coincides with Hall of Fame Day, CMU and You Day and Band Day.
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