Borges: More carries for Toussaint is a priority

McClatchy Newspapers


Despite still waiting for a breakout game from his tailbacks, offensive coordinator Al Borges sees hope in Michigan’s running game.

And he has no plans to change the lead back from Fitz Toussaint.

“Fitz is our back, Vince (Smith) has his role and (Thomas) Rawls will spell Fitz if we need him to do that,” Borges said this past week on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show. “Fitz is our back, and we want to see if we can’t get him closer to 20 carries.”

Through three games - he was suspended for the e opener against Alabama stemming from his drunken-driving conviction - Toussaint has only 150 yards and one touchdown on 36 carries.

That’s 50 yards on 12 carries a game.

Michigan’s hope is that with more work, there will be more results. Last season, Toussaint did not top 14 rushes in any of the first five games and averaged 62.5 yards.

But once he got rolling later in the year, he had four games of 20 carries or more and topped 120 rushing yards in each one.

Those 20 carries were the goal last Saturday at Notre Dame, where the Wolverines lost, 13-6 .

“Had we not had to throw the ball near the end, we would have come close to that,” Borges said. “We’d like to get Denard (Robinson) anywhere from 17-20 and Fitz anywhere from 20-25 running there, and throwing the ball 20 times or less, sometimes in games. If you don’t turn it over, that’s been our recipe for success.”

The turnovers, primarily Robinson’s interceptions, are killing the extending of drives and more snaps to help Toussaint find a rhythm. But in the second half against Notre Dame, Toussaint got nine carries in only three U-M possessions.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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