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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vincent Smith Starting At Rb? Not Quite...

Over the past several days, I have witnessed the running back speculation from preseason reappear. However, instead of a battle between Michael Shaw and Fitz Toussaint, it has centered around #2, Vincent Smith.

In fact, in an article posted by the Michigan Daily, they claim that, "Smith emerges as lead back." Although Smith certainly impressed last Saturday with his 112 rushing yards and 13.1 average per attempt, nothing has ever confirmed him as the "lead back" for Michigan.

In fact, Brady Hoke himself simply stated that "Vince has earned [the] right" to be Michigan's lead back. NEVER did he state that Vincent Smith was starting. In fact, in the article by the Michigan Daily, they admitted that the depth chart still had Shaw or Toussaint listed as the starter.

To me, this is just overblown hype from the media attempting to get hits. A story stating that Vincent Smith is in the mix to be Michigan's lead back is much less exciting than a story claiming he is the starting running back. If speculation is correct, it is very likely that Fitz Toussaint will still walk out to start the game on Saturday.

The depth chart could still certainly change, but I think the media and fans are getting a little bit ahead of themselves at this point. Remember, the last game was against Eastern Michigan. Yes, the same Eastern Michigan that was ranked as one of the worst offenses and defenses in 2010. Putting up a lot of rushing yards on the Eastern Michigan defense isn't likely to change too many aspects of the team.

Although I think Vincent Smith has a lot of talent, and may end up as the #2 running back (he already is the featured 3rd down back), I can't see him passing Toussaint anytime soon. I expect Toussaint to have a reasonable game on Saturday and remain as the starter for the foreseeable future.

Let's hope that even if Smith is chosen as the starter, which has not been done at this point, the running backs pick it up over the next several weeks.