ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan coach Brady Hoke suspended starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and reserve defensive end Frank Clark for tonights opener against No. 2 Alabama.
Hoke made the announcement Friday, saying both players wouldnt make the trip to Texas.
Toussaint pleaded guilty Tuesday to drunken driving. Clark is accused of taking a laptop from a dorm room.
The decision was not easy, but I feel it is in the best interest of this program and for these kids, and those always will be my priorities, Hoke said in a statement.
We have choices every day, and you have to be accountable to this program, your teammates, your family and the University of Michigan.
Despite the suspensions, the Wolverines have reclaimed their confidence, something Alabama did shortly after Nick Saban landed in Tuscaloosa and started winning national titles.
The eighth-ranked Wolverines have already earned some preseason acclaim going into their opener with the similarly pedigreed Crimson Tide at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Beating a team that has won two of the last three national championships from a league that has captured six in a row would be an especially huge statement for Denard Robinson & Co.
Theyre just trying to show the world that they can play, Alabama safety Robert Lester said. The SEC is such a dominant conference, and I guess just to get any credibility points, you have to go and beat a credible SEC team. Theyre just trying to prove themselves.
Saban and the Tide have some things to prove, too, even as nearly two-touchdown favorites.
The nations best defense a year ago gets quite a test for seven new starters facing the dangerous Robinson, the kind of double-edged weapon Alabama hasnt seen since Cam Newton two years ago.