Fifth-year running back Fitzgerald Toussaint celebrates a touchdown against Central Michigan.
Fifth-year running back Fitzgerald Toussaint celebrates a touchdown against Central Michigan. (Amanda Gosline/MJ)

By MICHAEL HOLZMAN, Staff Reporter

If you asked people who was the biggest underperformer of the Wolverines heartbreaking loss against Penn State, most people would respond with running back Fitzgerald Toussaint.

The fifth-year senior had no touchdowns against the Nittany Lions and only gained 27 yards on 27 attempts, almost 100 less rushing yards than redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner.

With a powerful combination through the air between Gardner and fifth-year senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, it was clear the Indiana’s attention defensively would be on Michigan’s passing game, which really opened the door for Toussaint.

Early on, Toussaint was gaining yards with ease through the use of the halfback draw, which really set the stage for his 151 yard and 4 touchdown performance. He did look explosive at times, even breaking for a 27-yard touchdown run at the end of the game, though it was not quite like the explosiveness of Billy Sims, Barry Sanders and Reggie Bush that this area is accustomed to.

After the game, Toussaint thought the halfback draw played a role in his bounce-back performance.

“Definitely,” Toussaint said. “I think it really helped kind of spread the defense out a little bit and you know, a lot of them bite on the pass so that opens up the run for me and I think that was good play calling.”

Clearly this will not end the criticism he faces from the fans, especially since his game was overshadowed by record-breaking performances by his teammates. But after today, Toussaint has clearly shown he will not be giving up his starting job at running back anytime soon.