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Friday, September 28, 2012 - 7
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No e Mreio
Toussaint finding rhythm in time for Big Ten slate
By LUKE PASCH self again. And he's starting to
Daily Sports Editor run like it, too.
"I felt like I ran good," Tous-
Sometimes, for a player to get saint said regarding his perfor-
back into rhythm, he just has to mance in Michigan's 13-6 loss to
loosen up. Notre Dame on Saturday. "Just
Redshirt junior running getting back into rhythm feels
back Fitzgerald Toussaint good. The offensive line defi-
strolled into the museum area nitely did better, and that was a
of Schembechler Hall on Tues- good thing, and that's an overall
day dressed in a classic Tom and thing."
Jerry cartoon T-shirt. He pulled Toussaint has yet to run for
on a Michigan polo shirt before 100 yards in a game this season,
addressing the media, but his but he has shown progression
smile and style were telling. since he returned from suspen-
He's starting to feel like him- sion at the beginning of the sea-
son. Against the Fighting Irish,
Toussaint 'rushed for 58 yards
on just 13 carries for a solid 4.5
yards per carry.
Against Massachusetts the
week before, Toussaint aver-
aged 5.7 yards per carry, though
his statistics from that game
hold less weight due to the low
quality of competition.
In order to see a 100-yard
rushing game from Toussaint,
he may just need to touch the
"Personally, I would like 20
carries a game." Toussaint said.
Redshirt junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has struggled in the early goings this season, but seems tc
his feet under him heading into the Big Ten season.
"But whatever I can get, I can
make the most out of them. I
know that's what I'm best at."
Toussaint has yet to take 20
handoffs in a game this season.
He carried the ball 15 times
against Massachusetts, 13 times
against Notre Dame and just
eight times against Air Force,
when he picked up an abysmal
seven yards throughout the
contest. Over his 10 starts last
season, Toussaint averaged 17.4
carries per game.
Against the Fighting Irish,
senior quarterback Denard Rob-
inson kept the ball to himself
for most of the rushing attack,
keeping it 26 times and gaining
The coaches know it's wise to
divvy up carries more evenly in
order to keep Robinson healthy
and get Toussaint in a consistent
rhythm. Part of the reason Rob-
inson kept the ball so often last
Saturday is because Toussaint
stalled in the first half, picking
t three yards on four car- think he's at his best when he is
e just had to let our holes Of course, late in the game,
up," Toussaint said. "Just a Toussaint didn't get many hand-
r of time - we have to be offs because Robinson needed
t. I think that's what we the ball in order to attempt his
nd we came out and played typical fourth-quarter magic
er (second) half. against the Fighting Irish. Tous-
saint touched the ball for the
last time with more than 13 min-
utes remaining in the contest,
"(ft's) just a not including one play in a later
drive when Robinson threw an
atter of time incomplete pass when targeting
- we have to Last year, Toussaint finished
the regular season with 1,011
)e patieflt." rushing yards and an impres-
sive 5.8 yards per carry. So far in
2012, as Michigan heads into Big
Ten season at Purdue on Oct. 6,
ded Michigan coach Brady he's on pace for just 550 yards.
"I think both (Toussaint But the season is still rela-
he offensive line), there tively young. Should Toussaint
ome movement (in the sec- maintain his recent rhythm and
alf), and I think he was gather more carries, he may
decisive. It was more ver- very well beat out those projec-
which is something that I tions.
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It'll feel quite right.