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MICHST

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No. 21 Michigan State handles Central Michigan 31-20

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State played well for about 30 minutes, and that was more than enough.

The final score was closer than it could have been, though.

''It's just disappointing for me. It's something that we are very aware,'' quarterback Brian Lewerke said. ''Offensively, we just kind of got stopped a little bit, little bit of the third and fourth quarter. Probably should have put up more points.''

Lewerke ran for two touchdowns in the first half, and the 21st-ranked Spartans overcame a slow start and an underwhelming finish to beat Central Michigan 31-20 on Saturday. Michigan State led 31-3 before letting CMU rally a bit in the fourth quarter.

Connor Heyward and La'Darius Jefferson also ran for touchdowns for the Spartans. Michigan State entered with the nation's top-ranked run defense and held CMU to 5 yards on the ground in the first half.

''We're difficult to move the ball on, so I think everything was pretty lopsided in that regard,'' Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. ''Then the fourth quarter came. It got a little bit interesting for us.''

CMU (1-4) kicked a field goal on the game's first possession and held that lead at the end of the first quarter. Lewerke threw an interception in the end zone in the first, but the Spartans (3-1) would have plenty of chances in the red zone.

Lewerke scored on runs of 3 and 5 yards, and Michigan State led 17-3 at halftime. CMU's Tommy Lazzaro threw two interceptions in the first half, giving the Spartans great field position.

Heyward and Jefferson scored their TDs in the third, but the Spartans didn't close the game out very emphatically. CMU scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick and then kicked a field goal to make it 31-13. Then the Chippewas scored on a trick play, with running back Jonathan Ward throwing a 29-yard pass to Tony Poljan with 6:44 remaining.

The Spartans were able to run out the clock after that.

''I thought we dug ourselves a hole early in the first half,'' CMU coach John Bonamego said. ''We didn't come here to play a game. We came to win a game and we didn't do that. However, I'm very proud of the fight in our football team and how they came out and played in the second half and made a game of it.''

THE TAKEAWAY

CMU: The Chippewas kept this game close for most of the first half, but the turnovers by Lazzaro made a difficult task even harder. The late comeback made the final score respectable.

Michigan State: Mistakes like Lewerke's interception could cause bigger problems against better competition. Still, this was a dominant defensive performance by the Spartans until the final quarter, and if that stinginess continues, Michigan State can certainly be a factor in the Big Ten.

TOUGH UP FRONT

Michigan State was allowing 32.7 yards rushing per game. That average went up after the Chippewas finished with 63, but it was still a fine performance by the Spartans' defensive front, especially in the first half.

Michigan State's streak of five straight games allowing under 50 yards rushing came to an end.

DIFFICULT TEST

Lazzaro made his first career start in last weekend's win over Maine. This opponent was clearly a step up in class.

''We knew they were going to be good against the run, and they were really good against the run. We knew we'd have to come out and throw it,'' Lazzaro said. ''The first drive went good. After that I was getting a little antsy back there and I kind of needed to settle down. So those first two picks were definitely on me.''

Lazzaro ended up going 19 of 34 for 153 yards and a touchdown.

INJURY CONCERNS

Michigan State lost receiver Cody White to a broken hand during the game. The Spartans were also without running back LJ Scott for a second straight game, and receiver Jalen Nailor didn't play either.

Regarding Nailor, Dantonio said only that it was not a disciplinary issue.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Spartans never seemed as if they were in much danger of losing, but they didn't rack up many style points against an opponent they were expected to beat easily.

UP NEXT

CMU: The Chippewas host Buffalo next Saturday.

Michigan State: The Spartans go back to their Big Ten schedule with a home game against Northwestern next Saturday.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 6:44
12-R.Tice extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
20
31
Touchdown 6:53
5-J.Ward complete to 1-T.Poljan. 1-T.Poljan runs 29 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
74
yds
03:09
pos
19
31
Field Goal 12:18
12-R.Tice 40 yards Field Goal is Good.
5
plays
26
yds
01:11
pos
13
31
Point After TD 13:29
12-R.Tice extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
31
Touchdown 13:34
7-T.Lazzaro complete to 85-J.Hicks. 85-J.Hicks runs 10 yards for a touchdown.
15
plays
95
yds
03:52
pos
9
31
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:18
4-M.Coghlin extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
31
Touchdown 4:23
15-L.Jefferson runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
44
yds
04:49
pos
3
30
Point After TD 10:24
4-M.Coghlin extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
24
Touchdown 10:28
11-C.Heyward runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
65
yds
00:00
pos
3
23
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:51
4-M.Coghlin 33 yards Field Goal is Good.
7
plays
19
yds
01:17
pos
3
17
Point After TD 2:23
4-M.Coghlin extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
14
Touchdown 2:31
14-B.Lewerke scrambles runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
46
yds
02:53
pos
3
13
Point After TD 10:57
4-M.Coghlin extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
7
Touchdown 11:03
14-B.Lewerke runs 3 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
35
yds
02:07
pos
3
6
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 13:13
12-R.Tice 40 yards Field Goal is Good.
5
plays
43
yds
1:15
pos
3
0
Team Stats
1st Downs 13 23
Rushing 2 11
Passing 8 9
Penalty 3 3
3rd Down Conv 4-15 5-12
4th Down Conv 1-1 2-2
Total Net Yards 233 334
Total Plays 57 72
Avg Gain 4.1 4.6
Net Yards Rushing 63 160
Rush Attempts 22 47
Avg Rush Yards 2.9 3.4
Net Yards Passing 170 174
Comp. - Att. 20-35 16-25
Yards Per Pass 4.9 7.0
Sacked - Yards Lost 3-12 1-11
Penalties - Yards 7-64 5-55
Touchdowns 2 4
Rushing TDs 0 4
Passing TDs 2 0
Other 0 0
Turnovers 2 1
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 1-0
Int. Thrown 2 1
Punts - Avg 5-40.4 4-35.5
Return Yards 46 132
Punts - Returns 1-3 3-26
Kickoffs - Returns 4-43 2-70
Int. - Returns 1-0 2-36
Kicking 4/4 5/5
Extra Points 2/2 4/4
Field Goals 2/2 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
C. Michigan 1-4 3001720
21 Michigan St. 3-1 01714031
170 PASS YDS 174
63 RUSH YDS 160
233 TOTAL YDS 334
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
T. Lazzaro 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.9% 153 1 2 91.6
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
54.2% 363 3 4 99.2
T. Lazzaro 19/34 153 1 2
J. Ward 5 RB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 29 1 0 673.6
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 29 1 0 673.6
J. Ward 1/1 29 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
T. Lazzaro 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 32 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
37 131 2
T. Lazzaro 11 32 0 13
J. Ward 5 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 26 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
60 182 0
J. Ward 8 26 0 16
D. Terry 9 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
D. Terry 1 3 0 3
K. Gwilly 33 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
39 123 1
K. Gwilly 1 1 0 1
C. Cole 82 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
C. Cole 1 1 0 1
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
B. Childress 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 46 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
11 121 0
B. Childress 3 46 0 35
J. Hicks 85 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 41 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
14 142 2
J. Hicks 5 41 1 16
T. Poljan 1 QB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 29 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 52 1
T. Poljan 1 29 1 29
C. Cole 82 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 145 0
C. Cole 2 18 0 16
D. Law 80 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 17 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 27 0
D. Law 2 17 0 10
J. Ward 5 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 34 0
J. Ward 2 8 0 5
L. Hessbrook 87 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 8 0
L. Hessbrook 1 8 0 8
J. Sullivan 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 25 1
J. Sullivan 2 7 0 4
B. Raimann 86 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
B. Raimann 1 5 0 5
D. Spalding 25 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 9 0
D. Spalding 1 3 0 3
H. Buczkowski 44 FB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
H. Buczkowski 0 0 0 0
R. Ross 3 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
R. Ross 0 0 0 0
J. Sabbagh 4 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 52 1
J. Sabbagh 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
N. Brisson-Fast 4 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
N. Brisson-Fast 1-0 1.0 0
M. Fountain 8 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
M. Fountain 1-0 0.0 0
R. Stuart 71 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
R. Stuart 1-0 1.0 0
S. Bunting 3 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
S. Bunting 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Tice 12 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/2 2/2
SEASON FG XP
4/4 5/5
R. Tice 2/2 40 2/2 8
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Sheldon 99 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 40.4 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
35 41.3 0
J. Sheldon 5 40.4 0 49
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Lewis 38 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 15.3 17 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 15.3 17 0
K. Lewis 3 15.3 17 0
G. Douglas 30 LB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 -3.0 -3 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 -3.0 0 0
G. Douglas 1 -3.0 -3 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Sabbagh 4 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 3.0 3 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
5 3.8 3 0
J. Sabbagh 1 3.0 3 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
B. Lewerke 14 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64% 185 0 1 118.2
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
65.6% 999 5 5 139.7
B. Lewerke 16/25 185 0 1
R. Lombardi 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
R. Lombardi 0/0 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
L. Jefferson 15 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
13 56 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
26 110 1
L. Jefferson 13 56 1 15
C. Heyward 11 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 48 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
37 135 3
C. Heyward 15 48 1 7
B. Lewerke 14 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 39 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
36 52 2
B. Lewerke 8 39 2 10
W. Bridges 27 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 18 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 18 0
W. Bridges 6 18 0 9
A. Welch 88 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 7 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 7 0
A. Welch 2 7 0 11
R. Lombardi 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -7 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 -7 0
R. Lombardi 2 -7 0 4
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
F. Davis III 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 66 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 278 1
F. Davis III 3 66 0 37
C. White 7 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 40 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
20 300 2
C. White 2 40 0 24
L. Nelson 13 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 31 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 36 0
L. Nelson 3 31 0 19
B. Sowards 16 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 57 0
B. Sowards 2 29 0 20
C. Heyward 11 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 16 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 75 0
C. Heyward 4 16 0 12
Ma. Sokol 81 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 6 0
Ma. Sokol 1 6 0 6
L. Jefferson 15 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 -3 0
L. Jefferson 1 -3 0 -3
Defense T-A SACK INT
B. Randle 26 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
B. Randle 1-0 1.0 0
K. Willekes 48 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
K. Willekes 1-0 1.0 0
D. Dowell 6 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
D. Dowell 0-0 0.0 1
J. Layne 2 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
J. Layne 0-0 0.0 1
R. Williams 99 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
R. Williams 0-1 0.5 0
J. Camper 91 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
J. Camper 0-1 0.5 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Coghlin 4 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 4/4
SEASON FG XP
6/6 13/13
M. Coghlin 1/1 33 4/4 7
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
T. Hunt 97 K
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 35.5 3
SEASON NO AVG IN20
8 37.1 3
T. Hunt 4 35.5 3 48
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Simmons 34 LB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 34.0 34 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 34.0 34 0
A. Simmons 1 34.0 34 0
C. Heyward 11 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 36.0 36 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
4 24.8 36 0
C. Heyward 1 36.0 36 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
C. White 7 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 1.0 2 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
5 4.6 2 0
C. White 2 1.0 2 0
B. Sowards 16 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 24.0 24 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 24.0 24 0
B. Sowards 1 24.0 24 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 MICHST 35 1:15 5 43 FG
10:06 CMICH 14 0:34 3 6 Punt
3:46 CMICH 20 1:07 4 9 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:55 CMICH 18 1:20 7 30 INT
10:57 MICHST 35 1:31 5 11 Punt
6:11 CMICH 15 0:43 3 2 Punt
2:23 MICHST 35 0:08 4 31 INT
0:34 MICHST 35 0:11 3 -7 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:24 MICHST 35 1:07 4 -12 Punt
4:18 MICHST 35 3:52 15 75 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:29 MICHST 48 1:11 5 26 FG
10:02 CMICH 31 3:09 9 69 TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:13 CMICH 35 3:03 7 16 Punt
8:52 MICHST 37 4:23 10 55 INT
2:01 MICHST 22 1:40 4 20 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:10 CMICH 35 2:07 4 35 TD
8:51 MICHST 32 2:19 7 23 Punt
5:24 CMICH 46 2:53 6 46 TD
2:08 CMICH 34 1:17 7 19 FG
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:10 CMICH 35 0:00 9 65 TD
9:12 CMICH 44 4:49 8 44 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:29 CMICH 35 0:00 1 17
12:13 CMICH 35 2:02 5 -14 Punt
6:44 CMICH 35 5:42 14 40