EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nathan Carter ran for 111 yards and three touchdowns and Noah Kim threw three scoring passes to lead Michigan State to a 45-14 victory over Richmond on Saturday.
The Spartans' defense also held the Spiders to 193 yards of total offense, including 75 yards rushing.
“We did not take these guys lightly,” said Michigan State coach Mel Tucker.
Carter had scoring runs of 2, 44 and 6 yards in the third quarter to put the game out of reach for the Spartans (2-0).
Kim started the game hitting only three of his first seven pass attempts and then completed 15 straight to finish 18 of 22 for 292 yards. He had scoring passes to Tre Mosley, Tyneil Hopper and Antonio Gates Jr.
It was the second straight week that Kim has struggled at the start of the game. Last week against Central Michigan he started out 2 of 7 and finished 18 of 31.
“I thought our performance was better,” Kim said. “That was one of the key things we wanted to focus on in practice this past week and we showed hints of that. But I still think there's a lot to improve on.”
The Spiders (0-2) scored twice late in the game, on a 47-yard fumble return by Aaron Banks and Jackson Hardy's 5-yard pass to Sean Clarke.
“I think defensively we’re OK ... I think we can stop the run, for the most part,” UR coach Russ Huesman said. ”(Offensively), it was tough sailing out there today. They’re pretty good on defense. ... I don’t think it’s indicative of what we can do offensively.
“I thought the play-calling was better this week than last week. I think we had an idea of what we want to do and an identity. Even though we only scored one (offensive) touchdown, I’m kind of optimistic that we can get this offense going.”
Michigan State’s Alante Brown, who was carted off the field last week with an injury after the game-opening kickoff against Central Michigan and came back in the game, was held out against Richmond.
Brown was listed as out Saturday on Michigan State’s Big Ten Availability Report.
Concern was raised this week after he returned to the game and returned a kickoff 16 yards late in the first half against Central Michigan. The Nebraska transfer was on the sideline, not in uniform, in the second half as the Spartans pulled away for a 31-7 victory.
It appears Michigan State has found its kicker in North Carolina transfer Jonathan Kim. The Spartans' kicking game has been inconsistent over the last two seasons and Kim has shown he can make lengthy field goals. He made a 52-yarder Saturday that bounced in through the uprights after hitting a 47-yard attempt last week.
Richmond: The Spiders, an FCS team, were overmatched against a Power Five school. Richmond's offensive line was overpowered for the second straight week. After Richmond gave up five sacks in the season-opener, Michigan State totaled seven sacks and had 13 tackles for a loss.
MSU: For the second straight week, it took a couple of series before the Spartans got going on offense. The Spartans will not be able to afford that against high-scoring Washington next week.
“We started fast on defense," Tucker said. "We didn't as fast on offense but we were able to get going.
“We're not going to have a 24-hour (celebration) rule right now. I told those guys, and they all agree, we get the celebration over in the locker room. Once you leave the locker room, Washington's on the clock.”
Richmond: Hosts Delaware State on Saturday.
MSU: Faces its toughest test of the early season against No. 8 Washington at home on Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll