Our Wolverines were back at it once again on Saturday, and for the second straight week, I've had to spend a good amount of time thinking of possible under performers against Illinois. Of course, there were plenty of candidates for the top performers.
So before I hold you up any longer, I bring you Saturday's top performers.
1) Thomas Rawls - RB
Let the Thomas Rawls hype begin, if you weren't already on the train. Rawls has shown little sparks of greatness throughout the season, and he used 9 carries against Illinois to finally put it all together. Totalling 90 yards, Rawls was the second leading rusher on Saturday (next to Robinson) and made his case to get a shot to start against Michigan State.
Watching Thomas Rawls on Saturday was something truly special. He is a back who has the speed to break away in the open field but can also use his power to pick up the rough yards. That is exactly what this Michigan offense needs, and they might have found it.
Rawls was also playing with a lot of passion of purpose out on the field, and I think that is something that has been lacking from the running back position at Michigan this season.
2) Denard Robinson - QB
For the second straight week, Denard Robinson has put together one of the more complete performances of his career. Minimal pass attempts combined with his dynamic running ability combined to create a force that really can't be stopped.
I've always said Denard's greatest contribution to Michigan's offense through the air is to simply not turn the ball over. He is good enough and has reliable wide receivers, so as long as he doesn't try to force his game through the air, he will be successful.
On the ground, well that's a different story. You can't wrong turning Denard Robinson loose. Against Illinois, he led the Wolverines in rushing yards with 128 of them on 11 attempts. The nice part about that stat is that it wasn't necessary for him to carry the ball 20+ times, a trend that Al Borges wants to break with his star play maker.
3) Jeremy Gallon - WR
Jeremy Gallon isn't making this list because of a consistent game. As a matter of fact, no Michigan wide receiver had a "consistent" game because Denard Robinson had 7 completions to 7 different players.
Instead, Gallon makes the list for setting the tone for the game with a 71 yard reception for a TD, Michigan's first of many on the day.
This is what the Wolverines need from one of their wideouts, a big play threat. And it doesn't necessarily have to be the same person. For most of the early season, it was converted WR Devin Gardner. On Saturday against Illinois, it was Jeremy Gallon.
Switching gears, there is only one Wolverine that comes to mind when talking about players who could have done a little more on Saturday.
1) Roy Roundtree
Roy Roundtree had the same day as any other Michigan WR, but he had a couple chances to actually do a lot more, something that would have boosted his production heading into a key game against Michigan Sate.
Roundtree dropped a couple passes, especially from back up QB Russell Bellomy. Usually, Wolverine receiver are well known for being sure handed, and this one performance certainly isn't going to ruin any reputations, but it is a little concerning to me that Roundtree found another way to struggle this season.