Michigan gets running game on track

September, 15, 2012
9/15/12
8:43
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan had 294 rushing yards on Saturday in a 63-13 victory over UMass and as you would expect, Denard Robinson contributed most of those yards with 106. The Wolverines, however, had six total rushing touchdowns and two of those scores came from senior running back Vincent Smith.

[+] EnlargeVincent Smith
Rick Osentoski/US PresswireMichigan senior Vincent Smith rushed for two touchdowns Saturday against Massachusetts.
His numbers won't stick out on paper as he only had 20 yards rushing on three attempts and one reception for 19 yards, but he typically finds a way to produce.

Smith's second touchdown came in the second quarter to put Michigan up 21-3 after a 6-yard run, and the game really seemed to break open after that drive. Despite the inferior opponent, it was good for Michigan's backs to find some success going into a week in which they face rival Notre Dame.

The Wolverines technically had six rushing touchdowns as offensive lineman Taylor Lewan accounted for one of those scores after jumping on a Denard Robinson fumble in the end zone. Receiver Drew Dileo said he believed it was actually lineman Elliott Mealer who was first to grab the ball for the score, but the official credit goes to Lewan.

Outside of Robinson's numbers, the main positive for Michigan's run game was getting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint involved and worked back into the offense. Toussaint was suspended for the opener against Alabama and seemed to struggle getting anything going in the second game against Air Force.

Toussaint averaged 5.7 yards per carry on Saturday against UMass with 85 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Those aren't the ideal numbers for Michigan's starting running back, but he showed flashes of his form from last season. He made quick cuts, hit holes and made people miss.

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