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September 8, 2012

Chippewas fall to Spartans, 41-7

MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan football team held the Michigan State offense in check throughout much of the first quarter, but the Spartans pulled away beginning in the second period to claim a 41-7 over the Chippewas in front of a Kelly/Shorts Stadium-record 35,127 fans Saturday afternoon.

"I think that early in the game we had chances to keep the game closer," CMU head coach Dan Enos said. "What they did is they capitalized on their opportunities and we were unable to do that.

"Obviously the game didn't go the way we wanted, and obviously I think they are a very good football team."

Cornerback Jason Wilson, in just his second game at the position, scored the only CMU points on the day with a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:39 remaining in the fourth quarter, pulling the Chippewas within 41-7.

Both the touchdown and the interception were firsts in Wilson's career. He played wide receiver last season.

Though the Spartans controlled possession for much of the first quarter, the CMU defense allowed only a touchdown on a one-yard run from running back Le'Veon Bell at the 9:12 mark of the first quarter and made a redzone stand that resulted in a missed 39-yard field goal three minutes later.

The Chippewas out-possessed the Spartans in the second quarter but couldn't convert on key opportunities. MSU stretched its lead to 24-0 by halftime, beginning with a seven-yard touchdown run from Bell just five seconds in to take a 14-0 lead.

Central Michigan had its best offensive opportunity of the game midway through the second quarter, when it went on a 15-play, 66-yard drive that featured six first downs. The drive ended after 5:09 of game time without points as an incomplete pass from quarterback Ryan Radcliff fell incomplete on 4th-and-10 from the MSU 27.

Running back Zurlon Tipton recorded two first downs and 22 yards rushing, while Radcliff connected three times for first-down receptions, two to wide receiver Cody Wilson.

MSU scored 10 points in the final minute of the half on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Maxwell to Dion Sims. Kicker Dan Conroy connected on a 29-yard field goal as time ran out to end the half.

Maxwell added another score in the third quarter to Bennie Fowler, and Conroy made a 26-yard field goal to give the Spartans a 34-0 lead after three. MSU's Nick Hill scored on a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth to give the Spartans a 41-0 advantage.

Radcliff finished the game 17-of-38 for 173 yards and two interceptions. Cody Wilson caught six passes for 54 yards, while wide receiver Titus Davis caught four for 64 yards. Tipton led the ground attack with 62 yards on 11 carries.

Wilson moved into ninth place on the all-time CMU receiving yards list with 1,959.

The Chippewas did not commit a penalty throughout the duration of the game, and have not been whistled at all this season. They are the only team in NCAA FBS to have not been called for a penalty.

Linebacker Justin Cherocci led the defense with a game-high 10 tackles.

The attendance record well surpasses the previous mark of 30,302, set in 2008 when CMU hosted Western Michigan.

"I thought it was a great atmosphere," Enos said. "Everything about it was awesome. At the end of the day it's a great thing for this community, and it's a great thing for this program"

The Chippewas have a bye week this upcoming weekend, and are next in action Saturday, Sept. 22 at Iowa.

Stick to ChippewaCountry for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting


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