EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a slow start for the Michigan State Spartans in Friday’s season opener.

The Spartans came out sluggish against in-state foe Central Michigan, but they found their rhythm in the second half and coasted to a decisive 31-7 victory at Spartan Stadium.

Michigan State, which outscored the Chippewas 21-0 over the final two quarters, has now won five straight against the Chippewas.

Central Michigan had Michigan State on its heels defensively early on as they chewed up nearly 10 minutes of the first quarter clock but came up empty.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Bert Emanuel Jr. slipped on fourth down-and-goal from the Spartans’ 2-yard line. 

Jonathan Kim gave Michigan State its first points of the season with a 47-yard field goal midway through the second quarter.

The Chippewas grabbed their first lead of the game with a 70-yard drive, aided by a pair of Michigan State facemask penalties.

Emanuel found Chris Parker in the back of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown pass and Central Michigan led 7-3.

The Spartans, however, answered quickly and reclaimed the lead, 10-7, on a short 2-yard touchdown run by Nathan Carter.

The seven-play, 84-yard scoring drive took less than a minute.

In the third quarter, an interception by linebacker Cal Haladay set up another Spartans’ score.

Junior Jalen Berger scampered in from 12 yards out to push Michigan State’s advantage to 17-7.

Michigan State quarterback Noah Kim opened the fourth quarter with a 72-yard pass play to Christian Fitzpatrick.

Two plays later, Tyrell Henry made a leaping grab in the end zone to make it 24-7.

Noah Kim tossed his second touchdown of the night on Michigan State’s next possession, this one to Maliq Carr from 8 yards out.

The Spartans went a disappointing 5-7 last year, but they are hoping for a turnaround in Coach Mel Tucker’s fourth season at the helm.

Central Michigan also endured a rough season, finishing 4-8 after losing three of its final five games.