Toussaint Spearheads U-M to Homecoming Victory over Purdue
Fitzgerald Toussaint

Oct. 29, 2011

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Score: #17 Michigan 36, Purdue 14
Records: U-M (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten), Purdue (4-4, 2-2 Big Ten)
Attendance: 112,115
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Nov. 5 -- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 11 a.m. CDT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior/sophomore running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty) and the University of Michigan football team (No. 17 AP/No. 17 Coaches) entertained the Homecoming crowd with a 36-14 rout over the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 29) at Michigan Stadium. Toussaint set career highs for carries (20) and rushing yards (170) and matched his career high with two touchdown runs. It is the second time in Toussaint's career he has eclipsed the 100-yard threshold.

The Wolverines outgained the Boilermakers 535-311 and possessed the ball for 36:25. Junior quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) and senior running back Michael Shaw (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) each added rushing touchdowns while running for 63 and 56 yards, respectively. Robinson also completed 9-of-14 throws for 170 yards, while junior/sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Gallon hauled in a team-high three catches for a career-high 79 yards.

The Michigan defense posted seven TFLs and four sacks and was led by senior nose tackle Mike Martin (Redford, Mich./Catholic Central), who contributed a season-high two sacks to finish with seven tackles. Martin's first sack was in the end zone, resulting in Michigan's first safety since 2003 against Houston. Freshman linebacker Desmond Morgan (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) led the Wolverines with nine stops in his second career start, and sophomore cornerback Courtney Avery (Mansfield, Ohio/Lexington) registered his first career interception and first career sack (half-sack).

After Purdue jumped out to a quick lead a 48-yard touchdown on a bubble screen just 1:24 into the game, Michigan evened it up at seven apiece with a 12-play drive. The big play was a 23-yard throwback screen from Robinson to Gallon that put U-M in the red zone. Four different Wolverines earned a carry, totaling 46 rushing yards, and Robinson capped the touchdown drive with a two-yard quarterback draw -- his 10th rushing touchdown of the season.

Both defenses tightened up after allowing the early touchdowns as Michigan forced two three-and-outs and Purdue intercepted two passes. Then, with 14:13 left in the second quarter and the Boilermakers sitting on their own five-yard line, Martin bull-rushed the Purdue offensive line and sacked the Purdue quarterback in the end zone for a safety. Junior/sophomore placekicker Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) added a 37-yard field goal -- the second longest of his career -- three minutes later to give U-M a 12-7 lead.

Purdue threatened to score on the ensuing drive, facing a third-and-10 from the U-M 16-yard line, when a bubble screen tipped off the receiver's hands into the arms of a diving Avery. The Wolverines capitalized and drove the length of the field in five plays, covering 83 yards. Two 16-yard runs by Toussaint and a 42-yard bomb down the right sideline to Gallon set up Michigan at the Purdue two-yard line. Toussaint punched it in on the next play, running over the right tackle for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season for a 19-7 Michigan advantage.

After a second Martin sack forced Purdue to punt, the Wolverines extended their lead to 22-7 to end the first half. Robinson opened the drive with a 28-yard run into Purdue territory. Michigan worked its way down to the three-yard line but could not convert any of its three shots at the end zone, settling for a Gibbons' 22-yard field goal.

Toussaint and Shaw each added quick strikes in the second half to give Michigan a comfortable lead. With 2:48 left in the third quarter, Toussaint took a pitch to the left side and made three impressive cut backs to elude Purdue defenders before sprinting 59 yards for his second touchdown of the day. On Michigan's next possession, Shaw burst through the line and broke free down the right sideline for a 37-yard score -- his third of the season -- to give Michigan a 36-7 lead with 12:32 left in the fourth quarter.

Purdue had an opportunity to add another touchdown midway through the fourth quarter but failed to convert a fourth-and-goal from the U-M three-yard line when Morgan and senior/junior linebacker Kenny Demens (Oak Park, Mich./Detroit Country Day) stuffed the Boilermaker quarterback just shy of the goal line. With 15 seconds left in the game, Purdue scored a touchdown on a 19-yard pass for a final score of 36-14.

Next week, Michigan begins the second half of the conference slate with a matchup at Iowa on Saturday (Nov. 5). The Wolverines and the Hawkeyes will kick off at 11 a.m. CDT on ESPN in Iowa City.

Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423

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