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Defense propels football to 21-9 win against Miami (Ohio)

Sophomore defensive line Shafer Johnson, left, redshirt freshman wide receiver Anthony Rice, center, and sophomore defensive back Colton Odykirk run back to the Chippewas locker room after beating Miami University 21-9 Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium. (Samantha Madar/Staff Photographer)Junior wide receiver Titus Davis avoids tacklers on a punt return against Miami University at Yager stadium Saturday afternoon. Chippewas won 21-9. (Samantha Madar/Staff Photographer)Sophomore defensive end Louis Palmer sacks Miami University's quarterback Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium. The Chippewas won 21-9. (Samantha Madar/Staff Photographer)Redshirt freshman running back Maurice Shoemaker-Gilmore runs the ball against Miami University Saturday afternoon. Shoemaker had 10 rushing attempts for 51 yards and 1 touchdown. The Chippewas won 21-9. (Samantha Madar/Staff Photographer)Sophomore running back Saylor Lavallii runs the ball against Miami University Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium. Lavallii had 25 rushing attempts for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. (Samantha Madar/Staff Photographer)Junior wide receiver Titus Davis runs the ball against Miami University Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium. Davis had 3 receptions for 34 yards and 6 returns for 80 yards. (Samantha Madar/Staff Photographer)Redshirt freshman quarterback Cooper Rush runs with the ball against Miami Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium. Rush completed 11 of 21 passes for 110 yards with 1 interception and 3 sacks. (Samantha Madar/Staff Photographer)Junior wide receiver Titus Davis avoids tacklers on a punt return against Miami University at Yager stadium Saturday afternoon. Chippewas won 21-9. (Samantha Madar/Staff Photographer)
OXFORD, Ohio — Defensive lineman Leterrius Walton pretended to spoon feed himself after his sack forced a three-and-out on Miami’s first offensive drive Saturday at Yager Stadium.

Central Michigan was hungry for a win, and it got it because of a defense that allowed fewer points than it ever had against an FBS team under head coach Dan Enos in a 21-9 victory.

“They’re great. I thought they were an A,” Enos said. “That’s the reason we won, because they gave the offense a chance and kept giving us turns to get our sea legs, if you will, and figure out what we’re going to do.”

Walton started it all in a game that he totaled a career-high seven tackles, including three for a loss. Before he made a sack, he threw running back Spencer Treadwell to the ground for a loss of two yards on Miami’s first offensive play.

“I’m just doing my job out there,” Walton said. “Start strong, start fast; that’s all we had to do. And we carried it out through the rest of the game.”

Enos added that he would like to see more of the same from Walton in the future after he could feel his presence in a game in which the defense had much success.

The only points it allowed were on scoring drives of 29 yards that resulted in a 3-0 Miami lead in the first quarter and one that started on CMU’s 15 after a turnover that ended in a touchdown, giving Miami a 9-7 lead.

The RedHawks decided to go for it and failed, giving them a two point lead instead of three.

The defense, which allowed 294 yards, could not have had success at a better time, playing in a game Enos said he desperately wanted to win, with the teams combining for a record of 1-8.

The only other times the defense has held a team to less than nine points in Enos’ tenure was against FCS teams in 2011 against South Carolina State in a 21-6 win and in 2010 against Hampton, when CMU won 33-0.

The defense was aided by going against an offense that is one of the worst in the nation, unable to score more than 14 points in any of its non-conference games.

Contact Jeff Papworth: jeffpapworth@ymail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffPapworth.

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