This post is sponsored by RO*TEL.
We're fans of good queso here at Maize n Brew. We're also fans of easy, relevant post that coincide with contests where you can win some cool stuff. To that end, our friends at RO*TEL approached us through SBNation about the "Feed Their Game Face" sweepstakes which involve both. So, we're happy to spread the word. Right now, RO*TEL is running the "Feed Their Game Face" sweepstakes, in which you can win a full year's worth of groceries and a trip for two to any 2011 college football game. Including Bowl Games. Yeah, that's pretty sweet. There's a lot of other cool stuff they're giving away, so register for the sweepstakes at http://www.feedtheirgameface.com/. You'll thank me later.
To help promote the sweepstakes, RO*TEL asked us to write two posts about players who have performed exceptionally well for Michigan this season. We're into doling out the helmet stickers to players on each side of the ball to guys that might be flying under the radar, so we're going to split this into two posts celebrating the offensive and defensive stars that aren't getting enough press. Follow us after the jump for to congratulate our offensive star of the week.
Over the last month we've spent a lot of time talking about the quarterbacks, but it's high time we start talking about the running back that is finally taking some of the stress off of Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier: Michael Shaw.
Through four games this season Shaw is on pace for a record season. Shaw has 245 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns on just 44 carries. He's also been a legitimate threat out of the back field as a pass catcher, snagging 6 catches for 53 yards. Despite a quiet start to the season, Shaw has been Michigan's most consistent running back. Over the last two games Shaw has accounted for 187 yards and four touchdowns. More importantly, Shaw has been an outstanding lead blocker for Denard Robinson, springing him for also all of his touchdown sprints.
The best thing about Shaw's performance this season is the steadiness he's brought to the backfield. The former Ohio High School 100 Meter Champ has taken full advantage of defenses keying to stop Denard Robinson. Against UMass, Shaw sprung for a 34 yard TD run and a 50 yard powerful romp over UMass' linebackers and safeties. Finally healed from a groin injury that hampered him all of 2008, Shaw is finally demonstrating that track star speed we've all been longing to see. The result: Shaw has already exceeded his career highs in carries, yards and touchdowns. Another good showing against Indiana and Shaw could conceivably equal his career totals in just five games this season.
While he's certainly turned up his offensive output, the area where Shaw's efforts may have had the biggest impact is his blocking. Shaw has been Michigan's best blocker at running back, both in the run game and in pass protection. It's clear that Shaw knows the play book and it's even clearer that the man loves to hit. He's been spectacular throughout the year, and is our unsung star of the season so far. Congrats Mike. Keep it rolling. We'll tap the top unsung defensive player tomorrow, so tune in then.
Again, please register for the sweepstakes at www.feedtheirgameface.com. Thanks to RO*TEL for supporting our work at Maize n Brew.