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Central Michigan loses 59-9 to No. 17 Michigan

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)

Central Michigan needed a lot to go its way to compete with No. 17 Michigan.

The Chippewas' chances to pull off the upset seemed to go from slim to none when starting running back Zurlon Tipton and quarterback Cody Kater were injured in the first quarter of a 59-9 loss to the Wolverines on Saturday.

Tipton broke an ankle and Kater broke a clavicle.

''Not a good start for the Chips,'' coach Dan Enos said.

It didn't get much better for Central Michigan (0-1) team because it gave up five straight TDs from midway through the second quarter until before Ron Coluzzi's third field goal made it 56-9.

Enos said it didn't want to speculate how long Tipton and Kater would be out other than to say neither player will be back soon.

''It will be a significant amount of time,'' he said.

Devin Gardner ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the first half and the Wolverines (1-0) had their highest-scoring opener since 1905, when they beat Ohio Wesleyan 65-0. They will face a tougher test against No. 14 Notre Dame next week at home in a prime-time game.

Michigan's scoring barrage started on the opening drive when Dymonte Thomas blocked a punt and Joe Reynolds scooped up the football and returned it 30 yards for a score.

''It gave us some momentum,'' Michigan coach Brady Hoke said.

And, there wasn't much the Chippewas could do about it.

Even though Gardner threw an interception on his second pass, giving Central Michigan the ball at the Wolverines 6, the Chippewas had to settle for the first of three field goals during a drive in which Tipton was hurt.

Tipton ran for 10 yards on four carries, getting shut down during three series as Michigan focused on him because he ran for nearly 1,500 yards last season. Saylor Lavallii played in place of Tipton and had 52 yards rushing on 10 attempts.

Kater was 2 of 6 for 13 yards and Alex Niznak replaced him, completing 11 of 22 passes for 131 yards with an interception.

''I made a couple mistakes, but the moment wasn't too big for me,'' Niznak said. ''I got more vocal and I thought I was able to bounce back from adversity.''

The Chippewas should have a chance to build some much-needed confidence in their home opener next week when they host New Hampshire.

''Our season is a long way from being over,'' Niznak said.

Tagged: Michigan, Central Michigan, Cody Kater, Alex Niznak, Zurlon Tipton

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