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Michigan wants to get Toussaint going on ground

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012
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"We kind of just had a talk of where we were last year and how we've fallen off of that, as far as just swarming the ball and being kind of a ferocious defense," safety Steve Hull said. "I think we've kind of drifted away from that as of late."

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas has already had to say he stands behind Beckman, whose woes have been compounded by getting caught on camera chewing tobacco on the sideline.

"It's just a bad habit," Beckman said. "I've talked to our athletic director concerning the situation. I apologize, it's a terrible habit. My father even texted me."

Family members, fellow students and fans of Michigan's teams might be looking ahead to next week's highly anticipated matchup with the Spartans, who have won four straight in the series. The Wolverines insisted they've only been thinking about beating Illinois.

Michigan hasn't won a Big Ten title since 2004 and its leaders say they're "100 percent focused" on winning each week to end that drought.

"I'll answer all the questions you all want about Michigan State next week," offensive tackle Taylor Lewan said. "Right now, my focus is Illinois."

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