Toussaint 'good chance' to start and notes

September, 5, 2012
9/05/12
2:06
PM ET
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is inching back to reclaiming his starting position.

Toussaint, who was suspended for the season opener against Alabama last Saturday, will play against Air Force this Saturday. And while Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Wednesday that he hasn’t made a definite decision on who will be Michigan’s starting running back, Toussaint has a good shot at it.

“I’m sure we’ll sit down after Wednesday’s practice,” Hoke said. “Most likely, there’s a good chance he will.”


This comes a day after offensive coordinator Al Borges wouldn’t commit to Toussaint being given back his starting position.

Toussaint, meanwhile, understood he had to re-earn his slot.

“I’m going to go out there and work every day, day by day,” Toussaint said. “And try to earn it back.”

Toussaint gained 1,041 yards last season and was named Michigan’s featured back midway through the 2011 campaign.

Offensive line play “almost embarrassing”: While Michigan was outplayed in almost every facet Saturday, one part irked junior left tackle Taylor Lewan more than most: the play of his own position group.

He pointed to the line’s struggles as a major reason for the loss, especially Michigan’s 69 total rushing yards.

“Everything needs to improve,” Lewan said. “50 yards rushing? That’s almost embarrassing.”

Lewan repeated that mantra over and over Wednesday when he broke down what happened to Michigan’s offensive line. Even three days later, the disgust on his face and when he spoke was still evident.

He was bothered by his performance, by his team’s performance.

“It’s just ... we have to be tougher,” Lewan said. “This team has to be tougher. We can’t have another game like that.”

Countess update: A surgery date has not been set for sophomore cornerback Blake Countess, who tore his ACL against Alabama.

And he might not have surgery for a couple of weeks.

“They wait for it to settle down. I’m not a doctor but they wait for it to heal up a little bit,” Hoke said. “Then the rehab is better and all that stuff.”

Hoke said junior Courtney Avery will definitely start Saturday at cornerback opposite fifth-year senior J.T. Floyd.

Oosterbaan criteria: Michigan will unleash its second legends patch on Saturday, giving someone on the team the now-unretired No. 47 jersey once belonging to Bennie Oosterbaan.

As for whom? Hoke wouldn’t say. He did go through the criteria he used in selecting who will wear the jersey.

“You try and look at all the variables that are involved, all the characteristics that are involved,” Hoke said. “There’s a lot to say about Bennie’s legacy, his performance, his production, his character and integrity that he brought to Michigan.”

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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