No. 25 Michigan vows to stay focused on Illinois

Associated Press Modified: October 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm •  Published: October 8, 2012
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The speedy senior ran for 235 yards at Purdue and became the Big Ten's all-time leading rushing quarterback with 3,905 yards. He was named the conference's co-player of the week on offense for a ninth time, tying the record total set by Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne.

Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, though, was held to 19 yards rushing on 17 carries. He has just 169 yards rushing — 3.2 yards per carry — in four games this year after averaging 5.6 yards per attempt for a total of 1,091 yards last season.

Is Hoke concerned with the lack of production the team is getting from its running backs?

"I would be lying if I said I wasn't," he acknowledged.

Thomas Rawls has made the most of limited opportunities. Rawls ran for 33 yards on just four carries against Purdue and is averaging 5-plus yards on 16 attempts that have been spread sparingly out over three games.

After Hoke vowed that he's going to stick with Toussaint at tailback, the second-year coach was asked if he thought about playing Rawls earlier in games?

"No, not really," Hoke said.

Hoke explained that Toussaint hasn't proven that he can't do the job, saying he simply ran against a defense that was designed to stop him last Saturday.

"A year ago, I think Fitz ran for 170 yards against Purdue — they weren't going to let him did that," Hoke said. "They were very concerned with taking that part of our offense away. Denard rushed for 235, so something has got to give."

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