Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fitzgerald Toussaint Cracks 100 Yards

With 120 yards Saturday night, Fitz Toussaint almost looked like his sophomore self, which ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2011. Add in a pair of touchdowns -a 35- and 12-yarder - and the senior had himself quite the time in East Hartford.

The bursts for six points were great signs for Toussaint, who hasn't been overly effective this season. He's struggled to gain a vertical approach to running the ball, still slowing himself down with needless lateral cuts.

If you're not going forward, you're going backward. That statement couldn't ring more true for running backs.

Sure, 24 carries for 120 looks pretty solid. It breaks down to five yards per touch, so what's there to complain about?

There's plenty, actually.

Prior to breaking his runs, Toussaint lugged his way to 37 yards on 10 carries. He certainly let loose during his next 14 totes, proving that he has durability and the will to win. Michigan needed Toussaint more than anyone Saturday night. He came through with difference-making scores, so he definitely deserves praise for carrying the Wolverines in the second half, offensively speaking of course.

Toussaint cracking 100 yards is a bit of a surprise. Given the running game's sloth-like presence during the previous three games, there was no reason to forecast Toussaint doing major damage to UConn. Maybe 70 yards and a touchdown, but 120 and two - well, that's going above and beyond.

Sadly, that "above and beyond" was once the norm for Toussaint. Without those two touchdowns, he would have had 22 carries for about 75 yards, give or take a few. He found two lanes at the right time and capitalized. That's what good runners do.

He's been criticized for two years and rightfully so. But this week, Toussaint deserves credit for vaulting a personal hurdle. That elusive 100-yard benchmark is important for confidence.

Source: Bleacherreport

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