OXFORD, OH - SEPTEMBER 16: Gus Ragland #14 of the Miami Ohio Redhawks throws a pass during the first half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Yager Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Oxford, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Ragland accounts for three TDs as RedHawks rip Chipps to open MAC play

Miami opened Mid-American Conference play in a big way Saturday at Central Michigan.

Gus Ragland accounted for three touchdowns the RedHawks handled the host Chippewas 31-14 at Kelly Shorts Stadium.

“Very proud of our entire organization,” Miami coach Chuck Martin said.

Ragland ran for a 6-yard touchdown and tossed two touchdown passes, including a 50-yard strike to Sam Martin. Kenny Young’s 31-yard run stretched the Miami lead to 28-7 with 2:35 left in the first half.

Shane Morris ran for a 2-yard score and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Eric Cooper with a minute left before halftime to cut the CentralMichigan deficit to 28-14.

“Executing on offense early and getting a lead was huge,” Martin said. “The first half was really good offense by us against a lot of different looks. Defensively, too many penalties in the first half. They made plays to get 14 but we also kept drives alive with penalties. Defense settled down in the second half.”

It was midway through the third quarter when Matt Merimee intercepted a Morris pass and returned it 47 yards out of the Miami (2-2, 1-0) end zone to kill a Chippewa drive. Sam Connolly had nine tackles and an interception that ended a late CMU drive.

Ragland was 11 of 19 for 217 yards passing. Morris finished 15 of 33 for 195 yards with two interceptions for CentralMichigan (2-2, 0-1).

Miami wraps up non-conference play Saturday at Notre Dame. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.