The Michigan Wolverines should feel pretty confident heading into this week's clash with their in-state rival Michigan State Spartans.
After dumping the Illinois Fighting Illini, 45-0, this past Saturday, the Wolverines look like they're finally hitting their stride.
Cliches like "clicking on all cylinders" and "playing Michigan football" are appropriate. While overused, the root meanings most definitely describe how the Wolverines have transformed the past two weeks, going from a underachieving 2-2 team to a stable Big Ten contender.
Now ranked No. 23 in the AP Top 25, the Wolverines showed the rest of the Big Ten how to send a message prior to one of the most important showdowns of the season.
Quarterback Denard Robinson was again spectacular against Illinois, but wide receiver Jeremy Gallon and running back Thomas Rawls were also instrumental in the dismantling of the Illini.
Robinson, obviously, has come out a "winner" the past two weeks. But his performance Saturday wasn't as impressive as the one put forth by Rawls. Followers of the Maize and Blue are accustomed to offensive outbursts courtesy of "Shoelace," but they're looking for more contributors and less of a one-man show.
If Michigan is to be a successful running team without relying solely on Robinson, Rawls has to be the go-to back; he proved Saturday with 90 yards and a 63-yard touchdown that he's ready to answer the call.
Rawls was a "winner" Saturday. Robinson and Gallon were, too.
But who else stood out in Michigan's impressive victory?