He rumbled, stumbled and bumbled through the Michigan State defense on Saturday.
Though it takes a team effort for a victory, De'Veon Smith's running ability set the tone for the Michigan offense early on in its 32-23 victory over the Spartans on Saturday.
Most importantly, however, this victory was for the senior class. A class that has seen the worst of times and is now, finally, seeing the best of times during their final season of eligibility. Finally having the Paul Bunyan Trophy back in its grasp, Smith says the locker room was still electric despite his late arrival.
"I got there in pretty late but it was pretty exciting having him back with us," Smith said. "We were holding him up, I got in there towards the end so I really don't know what happened before I got in there. It was an exciting moment for us."
Now that the excitement is here and the bad taste in their mouth has been removed, the feeling of finally getting over the hump hasn't sunk in for Smith quite yet. With the game still quite fresh, Smith is going to take some time to think about it, allowing it to sink in later.
"It's a great feeling and it really doesn't feel real right now," Smith said. "It feels like it didn't happen, really. It feels like we have a game to play. For now, I'm going to enjoy it. I will probably hit me tomorrow."
If this win has been on the players' mind for years, why hasn't the adulation and excitement haven't sunk in? Could it be that the feeling is so fresh despite around the U-M football program for so long?
The answer is quite simple. These seniors don't know what it's like to have this trophy before.
"I don't know, I really don't know," Smith said. "Probably because I've never had Paul in my possession before."