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Published: Thursday, 7/26/2012

UM to open season against Alabama


CHICAGO - Brady Hoke sees a benefit of having a marquee program like Alabama as its opening game on this year's schedule. The second-year Michigan football coach said today at the Big Ten media days that he believes it fulfills an expectation that he has for not just this year's team, but for his program as a whole.

"You go to Michigan and you coach at Michigan to play the best," said Hoke, whose team opens the season Sept. 1 against defending BCS champion Alabama in Arlington, Texas. "If you want to be the best, you have to do that."

Hoke praised his senior leadership, saying that the class of 2012 set a foundation for this year's seniors, including Clay graduate Jordan Kovacs.

“Those guys who were juniors undersand now the expectations are in their hands,” Hoke said.

Hoke said the statuses of tailback Fitz Toussaint and defensive end Frank Clark have not changed, either for the start of fall practices Aug. 6 and the season opener against Alabama. Both remain indefinitely suspended after Toussaint was arrested and charged last weekend with operating while intoxicated and Clark was arrested in June for theft and charged with second-degree home invasion.

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