Michigan Has Emerging Star at Tailback in Fitzgerald Toussaint

fitzgerald-toussaint

No matter what team you root for in college football, you have to admit it’s cool that the Michigan Wolverines have both Fitzgerald and Hemingway playing the offensive skill positions for them. We’ve profiled wide receiver Junior Hemingway, who’s had “A Movable Feast” of receiving yards this season.

Now we profile Fitzgerald Toussaint who ran for a career-high high 192 yards on 27 carries yesterday (previous high was 170 yards versus Purdue) and a fourth-quarter TD that ended any remote chances hope of an Illini comeback. Toussaint came out of the gates strong, going 65 yards on his second carry; 121 yards rushing after one quarter.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said “Action is Character.” Fitzgerald running for 8 yards shy of 200 versus Illinois, the nation’s 15th ranked run defense (6th overall defense) defined his character yesterday.

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Your Denard Robinson Wrist Injury Update

Denard Robinson

For the Michigan Wolverines offense, tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint was the bellcow, finishing the 31-14 win over the Illini with 192 yards rushing on 27 carries; two touchdowns.

Single threat quarterback Denard Robinson had two rushing touchdowns to go with 42 yards on the ground, on 11 attempts. He threw 6-11 for 91 yards and two picks, although one was an end of half desperation heave, so I don’t really count that as an interception- even though it goes in the books as one.

Robinson left the game early with a injury of some sort and it did not return. Continue after the jump to learn his status.

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Michigan Wolverines Shut Down Illini; Win Low-Scoring Big 10 Affair

67-65 in multiple overtimes this was not. This meeting between the Illini and Wolverines was much less “college basketball on AstroPlay” than last year. Michigan still won; this time with a different style.

Out of the gates Michigan dominated. They held a 172-13 yardage advantage after one quarter of play; 249-30 at the half. UM tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint had 121 yards rushing, on just three carries at the end of the first period. Yet the Michigan lead was only 14 at intermission.

The Memorial Stadium attendance was 60,676, a sellout- first one this season. And they had reason to come alive when the Illini cut it to 17-7 on Nathan Scheelhaase‘s TD run. However, that optimism was short-lived when Scheelhaase threw a pick-six on the next Illini offensive series.

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#24 Michigan Wolverines v. Illinois Fighting Illini: Brutally Honest Game Preview

In my lifetime, Illinois has beaten Michigan at home just twice- in 1983 and 2009. For some reason, the Illini don’t have a home field advantage versus the Wolverines or the Ohio State Buckeyes. Part of it is my alma mater has issues selling tickets to college football games.

If you can’t sell out a game versus Ohio St, when you’re undefeated and nationally ranked in the top 15, then when can you sell out? Michigan is starting to stumble a bit after a fast start, and they’re getting Illinois at the right time.

Or are they? The Illini had a bye week to prepare for this, and have to be feeling a sense of urgency. They started out 6-0 and now find themselves projected to the Pizza Bowl in Detroit. Uhm yeah, time to start winning some more games.

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Illini, Wolverines take Home Big 10 POW Awards. No Surprise!

leshoure

On Saturday, the Illini and Wolverines played a college football game that was to offense what Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is to hair-sprayed “poofs.” The two squads also played defense in the same manner that the “Jersey Shore” promotes literacy.

Anyways, the game was an instant triple overtime classic in which the two football teams combined to score more points than in eight of their last nine college basketball meetings. For one Saturday, the Big Ten became the WAC.

Not surprisingly, one player from each team, Illini Mikel LeShoure and Michigan’s Roy Roundtree

By Paul M. Banks

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Michigan 67, Illinois 65: Instant Classic Despite Lack of Defense

wolverines football

When the Illini and the Wolverines got together to play college basketball in February, the score was Illinois 51, Michigan 44. When they met to play college football Saturday, the score was UM 67, UI 65.

It reminded me of the 2009 Illini basketball 38-33 loss to home state. Because you looked at the box score, and you’re like “is that a misprint?” If this Big Ten conference game had any similar precedent, it’s the 2000 meeting between the #12 Wolverines and #21 Northwestern Wildcats. NU won that one 54-52 at Ryan Field.

I guess my prediction was a bit off!

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Michigan vs. Illinois: Brutally Honest Game Preview

rich-rod

Guess who leads the Big Ten in rushing the past five years? Surprisingly, it’s not Ohio State or Penn State. During the Zook era (since 2005), it’s actually Illinois.

Illini: 196.1 yards per game. Wisconsin Badgers: 192.7 ypg in the five year span. That’s right, you just read something good about Illini head coach Ron Zook, a man deemed by many to be the college football equivalent of former Bulls and current Clippers leader Vinny Del Negro.

Get ready because here comes more Zook positive press.

At Illinois, he’s 2-1 against the Wolverines while Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez is 0-2 against Illinois. Zook is only the third coach in school history to beat Michigan twice in his career. Robert Zuppke (1913-41) defeated the Wolverines nine times and Ray Eliot (1942-59) had eight wins over UM.

In Ann Arbor, they’re calling for Rodriguez’s head yet again. And that’s silly because you need to give a coach, any coach, at least three-four years to get his system in place with his recruits before evaluating him.

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