MOUNT PLEASANT, MI - Central Michigan's defense posted a historic 33-0 shutout of Hampton to open Dan Enos's tenure as the Chippewas' head coach.
Senior linebacker Nick Bellore's game-high 11 tackles spearheaded a defensive effort that limited the Pirates (0-1) to 129 total yards, and CMU (1-0) opened a season with a shutout for the first time since 1979. Enos joined Herb Deromedi as the only coaches in school history to open their tenures with a shutout victory.
"We won and that was our entire goal the entire offseason, was to win the game," Enos said. "We weren't happy with how we played in all phases of the game, but we were very happy with our effort and our attention to detail.
"We challenged our players before the game, knowing we had a lot of guys in new spots, knowing we had a lot guys who hadn't played football in a long time," he continued. "We stressed to those guys that they were going to make mistakes but not to worry about it if they did, just play the next play and that we just wanted to see them get better."
Hampton's 14 offensive possessions ended in 11 punts, two turnovers and a safety.
Paris Cotton ran for a career-high 94 yards and a score, and Ryan Radcliff completed 20-of-34 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown in his first career start to lead a CMU offense that rolled up 427 total yards.
The Chippewas scored 16 points in a span of 51 seconds in the first quarter to take control of the contest.
Hampton snapped the ball out of the end zone on a punt attempt to give CMU a 2-0 lead with 9:52 left in the opening period. Cody Wilson returned the ensuing free kick 81 yards to the Hampton 4-yard line, and Carl Volny's 2-yard touchdown run extended the CMU lead to 9-0.
Armond Staten recovered a Hampton fumble on the kickoff following Volny's score, and two plays later Paris Cotton scored on a 1-yard plunge.
Radcliff's first career touchdown pass bumped the CMU lead to 23-0 early in the second quarter. Five plays after a 26-yard completion to Jerry Harris on third-and-17 kept the drive alive, Radcliff connected with Wilson for an 8-yard touchdown on third-and-4.
The Chippewas added a 29-yard field goal by true freshman Paul Mudgett in the third quarter and 2-yard touchdown run by Radcliff in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Wilson, Kito Poblah and Taylor Bradley each caught four passes to lead a receiving corps that saw eight different players make at least one reception.
Defensively, Jahleel Addae and Matt Berning both tallied seven tackles, while Caesar Rodriguez collected a pair of sacks and forced a fumble. Bobby Seay Jr. accounted for the Chippewas' other forced turnover, intercepting his second career pass in the second quarter.
Hampton's David Legree completed 12-of-34 throws for 80 yards, while Steve Robinson ran for 67 yards on 16 carries.
CMU opens Mid-American Conference play next Thursday at Temple. ESPNU will televise the contest, set for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
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