Michigan State got better as its season opener unfolded last week. The Spartans will look to carry that momentum into their home game against Richmond on Saturday.
The Spartans (1-0) didn't score a touchdown against Central Michigan until the final minute of the first half on Friday, then outscored the Chippewas 21-0 in the second half en route to a 31-7 victory.
The slow start left Michigan State coach Mel Tucker with mixed feelings about the opener.
"We left a lot of plays out there on Friday night," he said. "There's a lot of room to improve. There was a ton of positives as well."
Noah Kim passed for 279 yards and two touchdowns. Kim backed up Payton Thorne, who transferred to Auburn, the past two seasons.
Nathan Carter, a UConn transfer, led the running game with 18 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Tucker wasn't surprised that Kim and the offense needed a few series to get into a rhythm.
"Obviously, there were some balls he would like to get back," he said. "I mean, who doesn't have those? If you're watching a game this weekend, I didn't see any quarterback out there that didn't throw a bad ball or make a bad decision. So he did get better as the game went on, and I thought we got better around him as well."
Michigan State's toughest non-conference matchup will come next weekend when it hosts eighth-ranked Washington.
Richmond, which finished 9-4 last season, was stunned in its home opener by Morgan State 17-10 on Saturday.
"It's on all of us," Spiders coach Russ Huesman said. "We all have to take accountability ... we can play better than that. We will play better than that. That was an embarrassment."
Richmond (0-1) committed four turnovers and was limited to three points in the last three quarters. Kyle Wickersham completed 23 of 30 passes but averaged only 7.3 yards on those completions. Richmond gained just 95 yards rushing on 37 carries.
"We've got to re-evaluate what we're doing," Huesman said.
—Field Level Media