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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Toussaint should be No. 1 back for Michigan

Sooner or later, Michigan will have one feature back getting the bulk of its carries in Al Borges offense. For now, the field of candidates has been narrowed from four down to two -- Fitzgerald Toussaint and Vincent Smith.
Toussaint should be the guy that emerges as No. 1.
He's rushed for 193 yards on 35 carries (5.5 YPC) and three touchdowns. But moreso, he's been consistent. His closest competitor, Smith, has shown more big-play ability, but his 8.8 yards per carry average is misleading. He's been hit or miss. The Wolverines already have a player like that in Denard Robinson, who's fourth in the nation in rushing. They need somebody who can be reliable and take some strain off of Robinson. Toussaint, a sophomore, also has a higher ceiling than any other back on Michigan's roster -- possibly with the exception of freshman Thomas Rawls, who just doesn't seem ready for consistent game action yet.
While Both Toussaint and Smith should get plenty of carries Saturday in what's sure to be a rout of Minnesota, going forward Toussaint should be the guy taking the pounding in Big Ten play.

Kill will be back on sidelines
Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill, who's battled seizures and other health issues the last three weeks, was released from the Mayo Clinic and said he will be back coaching the Gophers (1-3) Saturday against Michigan.
"I've done pretty good. I've already survived cancer," said Kill in an interview with the Associated Press. "I've survived about three losses right now. I'm still out here and practicing and trying to coach them up. I still said too many cuss words today, so I'd say I'm still in it pretty good. But our focus needs to be on the University of Michigan and on getting our players better."
Minnesota is coming off a 37-24 loss to North Dakota State, arguably the lowest point in program history.


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