Courtesy: Tim Fitzgerald/CMU Athletics
Titus Davis caught seven balls for 154 yards and two touchdowns to elad CMU over UMass, 37-0
Davis and Defense Lead CMU Football to Dominating Win, 37-0
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – A 20-point outburst in the second quarter and a strong defensive effort led Central Michigan football to a dominating 37-0 victory over UMass at home on Saturday.

The Chippewas (5-6, 4-3 Mid-American Conference) recorded a shutout for the first time since the 2010 season opener against Hampton. It is also CMU’s first shutout over a MAC opponent since beating Akron, 42-0, on October 12, 1996. CMU held the Minutemen to just 173 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers including a pick-six by Tony Annese.

Despite the windy, frigid weather, quarterback Cooper Rush and wide receiver Titus Davis led the Chippewa offense. Davis caught seven balls for 154 yards and two touchdowns while Rush was 13-for-21 for 231 yards and two scores.  Zurlon Tipton added 50 yards on the ground on 16 carries, reaching the end zone once.

Central Michigan opened the game with an eight play, 75-yard drive, capped off with a three-yard touchdown run by Tipton. After failed drives by both teams, UMass (1-10, 1-6) was able to put together a drive into CMU territory, only to have Jason Wilson pick off A.J Doyle at the CMU 20 and return it 52 yards to give the Chippewas great field position entering the second quarter.

CMU’s drive off the interception got it into field goal range with Ron Coluzzi knocking through his first of three field goals on the day, this one from 33 yards to give CMU a 10-0.

The two teams traded punts before Annese stretched Central Michigan’s advantage to 17 with his interception and return for a touchdown from 34 yards out, his second from that distance in as many weeks. Another UMass three-and-out plus a short punt gave the Chippewas good field position. CMU took advantage right away as Rush found Davis on a 34-yard catch and run for a touchdown, making the game 24-0.

The Minutemen’s fourth three-and-out of the quarter gave the Chippewas good field position yet again. This time CMU’s drive stalled out at the UMass 16 and Coluzzi was good from 33 yards out to give the Chippewas a 27-0 lead at the half.

CMU set its high mark for points in a game this season midway through the third quarter with a drive dominated by Davis. On a 2nd-and 17, the junior hauled in a 22-yard pass from Rush. Then two plays later, he went up among a pair of UMass defenders and brought down a 30-yard pass in the end zone for his second score of the day.

The Chippewas final scoring drive was sparked by Tipton, who rushed for 40 yards over five straight plays to get CMU back into the red zone. Coluzzi then capped the scoring with a 24-yard field goal to make it 37-0. The three field goals tied a career high for Coluzzi set in week one versus Michigan. A Brandon Greer interception ended UMass’ next drive and the Chippewas then ran out the clock.

CMU will bid to gain bowl eligibility for the second consecutive season and recapture the MAC Michigan Trophy next week when it finishes out the regular season at home by hosting Eastern Michigan (2-9-, 1-6) on the day after Thanksgiving. The Senior Day battle is scheduled for a 2 p.m. kick off on Friday, Nov. 29 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium and will be streamed online by ESPN3.