Breaking News Bar
updated: 9/7/2012 5:09 PM

No. 19 Michigan looks to bounce back against Air Force

Success - Article sent! close
  • Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson passes during the first half of last Saturday's loss to Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

    Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson passes during the first half of last Saturday's loss to Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Fitzgerald Toussaint is expected to go from suspended to starting.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke has cleared Toussaint to play Saturday against Air Force following a one-game suspension for pleading guilty to drunken driving.

"I let my team down and I let my family down," Toussaint said. "I wasn't accountable. I made a bad decision."

He should help the 19th-ranked Wolverines bounce back from a humbling 41-14 loss to Alabama at Cowboys Stadium that dropped them from a No. 8 preseason ranking.

Falcons coach Troy Calhoun said what happened to Michigan against the defending champion and currently top-ranked Crimson Tide has no effect -- good or bad -- on his team.

"I don't think that's really a factor," Calhoun said. "This was going to be their home opener regardless of what happened last week. I think last week they played a team that there is nobody in football more talented than the team they played last week. Not even the Patriots. I am serious about that."

Air Force has been pretty good, too, earning a program-record five straight bowl bids, but has a 19-game losing streak against teams ranked in The Associated Press poll.

Calhoun is confident the cadets won't be intimidated by Michigan or 110,000-plus fans rooting against them at the Big House.

"Not when you've got to wake up with somebody banging on your door at 4:15 in the morning and within 24 hours you've had all your hair cut off and have to be dressed in a certain outfit in 25 seconds," Calhoun said. "Get up and do all these extra push-ups and flutter kicks and everything else at 4:15 in the morning day after day after day.

"I don't want to say you're numb, but you'll be able to move into a variety of elements and be able to adapt."

The Wolverines will have to adjust to Air Force's option offense after Alabama overpowered and outran them with a no-frills scheme.

Cody Getz, one of many first-time starters for the Falcons, ran for 218 yards and three touchdowns in last week's 49-21 win over Idaho State. Quarterback Connor Dietz is also showed he's a threat to keep the ball, running for 74 yards on seven carries.

"It will take us a little bit of time to get used to the speed," Hoke said. "We don't have a quarterback who can run like theirs besides our quarterback, but he's not going to run scout team this week."

Denard Robinson struggled to lead Michigan's first-string offense against Alabama, completing just 11 of 26 passes for 200 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He ran for just 27 yards on 10 carries, including one for a TD that cut the Wolverines' deficit to 24 points late in the first half. The speedy senior hurt his right shoulder, making a tackle after throwing an interception, and was slow to get up after lunging for extra yards on a run.

Hoke, though, is not worried about Robinson getting too banged up.

"You look at Nebraska and Ohio, he was pretty healthy," Hoke said. "In fact, he told me it's the healthiest that he's ever been at (that) time of year. You know, we didn't run him a lot. They didn't allow us to run him a lot."

Like Toussaint, Hoke is letting another player suit up after being suspended against Alabama.

Defensive end Frank Clark, who potentially can help a depleted line, is eligible to play despite facing charges that he took a laptop from a dorm room. He faces a Sept. 11 court date.

Hoke wasn't interested in explaining how he decided to let Clark play while facing a felony charge.

"I don't need to take you through a process," Hoke said. "I just resolved it."

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.