A very good Cooper Rush and a stingy defense was plenty.
Rush threw for 352 yards and a Kelly/Shorts Stadium-record six touchdowns Saturday as the Central Michigan football team downed UNLV, 44-21, before 19,922.
Saturday's win, which gave CMU its first 3-0 start since 2002, came one week after CMU scored on a Hail Mary pass with no time remaining to upset No. 22-ranked Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla.
The Chippewas go to Viriginia next weekend eyeing . . .
"I think our attitude is, and I think this sounds cliché but I really don't care, we're taking these one at a time," Bonamego said. "Our team has bought into that, not living in the past, staying in the present, focusing on things that we can control and committing ourselves to the process of just getting better every day."
Rush connected with Mark Chapman on a 29-yard TD pass with under six minutes to play in the first half to tie the game, 21-21. Just over three minutes later, Rush hit Corey Willis for a 26-yard score to put CMU in front, 28-21.
"That's one of his great intangibles. He doesn't get rattled. He doesn't feel pressure. He just goes out and competes," Bonamego said of Rush, who went over 10,000 yards and 800 completions in his career with his performance on Saturday. "He made some great throws down the field today. He made a couple of great runs too, designed quarterback runs or options.
"I don't necessarily like to see him run around in the open field like that, but he did a nice job."
Wilis finished with six catches for 108 yards, while Chapman had 80 on five. Both scored two touchdowns.
Rush and Willis hooked up on a 31-yard TD pass play midway through the third quarter and Rush hit Brandon Childress for a 42-yard TD less than a minute into the fourth quarter to put the Chippewas in complete control.
It was vintage Rush, spreading the ball to his bevy of receivers.
"It just shows the great group of guys we've got, a lot of play-makers," Rush said. "We spread it all around, a combination of hard work and great talent on our team."
The Chippewa defense limited UNLV quarterback Johnny Stanton to 131 yards on 15-of-41 passing and intercepted him twice. They also recorded a safety when Nate Brisson-Fast blocked a punt out of the end zone in the fourth quarter.
The Rebels' Lexington Thomas rushed for 113 yards, 85 of which came early in the second quarter on a TD run.
The Chippewas finished with 499 yards in total offense and had 23 first downs to UNLV's 15. The Rebels finished with 313 total yards.
(Courtesy of CMU Athletics)