Tag:Tate Forcier
Posted on: January 12, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Tate Forcier not currently enrolled at Michigan

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The last time Michigan underwent a coaching transition, Ryan Mallett walked out the door towards stardom at Arkansas. And it's not looking much better for the Wolverines this go-round, either, with Denard Robinson notably non-committal in the wake of Michigan's Gator Bowl defeat and Tate Forcier not even enrolled in the school, as reported today by the Michigan Daily :

Forcier, a Sport Management major in the School of Kinesiology, was academically ineligible to play in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. on Jan. 1.

In an interview this morning with The Michigan Daily, the representative in the registrar’s office said Robert Patrick Forcier was not enrolled in classes the University as of Jan. 12.

With Jan. 25 as the final date to add classes at Michigan, there remains the possibility that Forcier will re-enroll. And after older brother Chris Forcier transferred out of Michigan several years ago only to be unable to find traction with any other programs, the family has said they're not interested in going the transfer route.

But that was before much of the rockiness of this season, when Forcier was beaten out for the starting job by Robinson in the spring, had his work ethic publicly criticized by teammate Troy Woolfolk (who was then, stunningly, praised for his actions by Rich Rodriguez ), watched Robinson become the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and finally was forced to sit out the bowl game with academic issues. Considering that Forcier had been hailed as a true freshman savior just 12 months prior, Forcier's 2010 in Ann Arbor must have been a crushing disappointment.

With the expected arrival of West Coast offense coordinator Al Borges, Forcier could have an opportunity to earn back the Michigan job; Borges' pro-style attack seems much better suited to the more-accurate arm of Forcier than the dynamic legs of Robinson, who may not even bother to try to win the job in the first place. But a fresh start somewhere else may simply be too tempting for Forcier at this point, and if Robinson follows him out of town, redshirt freshman Devin Gardner will be the Wolverines' 2011 quarterback by default.

Gardner's got a ton of talent. But another year with a first-time starter at the controls -- the fourth straight for Michigan -- isn't what anyone in Ann Arbor would prefer.

UPDATE: Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed at Brady Hoke's introductory press conference that Forcier is not currently a member of the Wolverine program. It would appear that Forcier's time at Michigan is all but officially over.

Posted on: January 1, 2011 8:00 pm
 

Bowl Grades: Gator Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Mississippi State crushed an overmatched, undermanned Michigan defense, 52-14.

Mississippi State

Offense: Quarterback Chris Relf wore #36 in honor of teammate Nick Bell , who passed away this season after battling skin cancer. He most certainly represented Bell admirably today, rolling up 281 yards on 18-23 passing and throwing three touchdowns. Michigan's secondary essentially had no answer for anything MSU wanted to do on offense. The Bulldogs' rushing attack was good for over 200 yards, even though it only gained 3.5 yards a pop. But above all else, MSU scored 52 points and gave Michigan its worst bowl beating ever. Grade: A

Defense: The MSU defensive performance basically defined "bend but don't break" today; Michigan gained 16 first downs and over 300 yards of offense, but only scored 14 points (all in the first quarter) and gave the ball up twice -- not including the partially blocked punt that gave TCU the ball on the Michigan 29. Only Ohio State held the Wolverines to fewer points this year. Grade: B+

Coaching: Dan Mullen went 5-5 on fourth downs in this game. 5-5! These weren't do-or-die situations, either; Mississippi State did beat Michigan by 38 points, after all. His team stayed aggressive even after it was garbage time, shutting Michigan out in the last three quarters. Right now, Mullen looks to be worth every penny of the $10.6 million he figures to make over the next four years. Grade: A

Michigan

Offense: Michigan actually started the game on a roll, and led 14-10 at one point. Then Denard Robinson threw an interception, and things quickly went downhill. Robinson accounted for over 300 yards once again, but as per usual, the rest of the team didn't contribute much. Roy Roundtree and Martavious Odoms both looked solid at receiver, and both figure to be weapons next year. The Wolverines definitely missed Tate Forcier (ineligible) in the second half, when passing became the highest priority. Grade: B-

Defense: Statistically, this is the worst defense in Michigan history. This was Michigan's worst defensive performance in a bowl game ever. Greg Robinson should not only be fired, he should never coach defense in college football ever again. Michigan's defense was awful, wretched, putrid, horrific, horrible, and horrendous in every respect of the game. Grade: A new, worse grade than F should be invented and given to Michigan's defense

Coaching: Rich Rodriguez may have gotten himself fired with this one game. There were a litany of problems associated with Michigan's preparation and execution, as the 38-point margin would indicate, but let's just point this out: Michigan went 0-5 on fourth downs. Denard Robinson threw an incomplete pass on all of them. Robinson is the most feared rushing quarterback in college football this year; why is Rodriguez making him stand still and throw on every single fourth down? Use his legs, for crying out loud! Grade: F

Final Grade

This was not a good game for anybody but Mississippi State fans. It's great to see Dan Mullen breathe life into the historically inferior program, but it became quickly apparent in the second half that Michigan is just a mess. If it's Rich Rodriguez's last game on the Michigan sidelines, it's disappointing, but fitting. Grade: D

Posted on: November 8, 2010 2:33 pm
 

Denard Robinson should be 'good to go' Saturday

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It just wouldn't be a normal week in the college football world if we didn't have to wonder what the status of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was for the coming weekend.  Robinson had to leave Michigan's video game triple-overtime victory over Illinois during the third quarter on Saturday, and experienced concussion-like symptoms.  Robinson had a headache and was dizzy, so Michigan trainers felt it best to keep him out of the rest of the game, and Tate Forcier filled in admirably to lead the Wolverines to a victory.

But what about this Saturday's game against Purdue?  

Well, Rich Rodriguez did his best to avoid the word concussion during his news conference on Monday, but did say that Robinson should be "good to go" after going through tests on Sunday.

"All's good," Rodriguez said. "There are no issues."

Which means that Robinson is likely going to start against Purdue on Saturday, break off a big run, take a hit, and then have to leave the game.  Then next Monday or Tuesday we'll be writing the same post here again about Robinson's status for the game against Ohio State.  So I guess we'll see you then!
Posted on: November 7, 2010 2:32 am
Edited on: November 7, 2010 2:58 am
 

What I learned from the Big Ten (Nov. 6)

Posted by Adam Jacobi

1. Michigan doesn't do "boring." The game of the week, beyond any doubt, was Michigan's 67-65 squeaker over Illinois. The game featured 132 points scored, 1237 yards from scrimmage, 58 first downs, and 60:00 total time of possession. Okay, so the last one is normal.

Down the stretch, Michigan was led by Tate Forcier under center, as Denard Robinson was knocked out of a game once again. Forcier effectively reprised his role of "4th quarter dynamo" from 2009, proving yet again the rare value of an experienced backup quarterback. Forcier is clearly not Denard, but the fact remains that Forcier is good enough that he should be spelling Robinson periodically throughout Michigan's game regardless of Robinson's health. Michigan has two starting-quality quarterbacks, and as Robinson's accumulation of minor injuries demonstrates, they clearly need to use them! It's just up to Rich Rodriguez to use both on his own terms, rather than waiting for Robinson to get knocked out of the game first.

Thus, the only game that Michigan has participated in that didn't result in at least 50 total points was its season-opening 30-10 win over Connecticut; since then, whenever Michigan takes the gridiron, the points fly; on average, a Michigan game features almost 73 points per game. In fact, after today's circus act, Michigan leads the Big Ten in both points per game and points allowed per game. Is it "good football"? Lord, no. Is it exciting? Of course. If that's the role Michigan is destined to play under Rich Rodriguez, it's certainly a step down for the Wolverines, but it's not necessarily worse for the conference as a whole.

2. The road is awful hard. It don't take no guff. No. 9 Wisconsin went on the road to Purdue and trailed until the second half. No. 16 Iowa went to Indiana and needed a horrific dropped touchdown on 4th down (more on this later) to escape with an 18-13 win. Northwestern blew a 21-0 lead at Happy Valley, Minnesota got smacked by Michigan State, and Illinois couldn't win in Ann Arbor even after scoring 65 points.

All of which is to say, winning on the road in the Big Ten is still really difficult. It's something to keep in mind when prognosticating the Rose Bowl berth endgame. Regardless of how good the four teams at the top of the conference are, odds are that at least one (and probably more) will go down on the road yet this season, and we shouldn't be surprised when it happens.

3. Nothing's really changed at the top. Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Iowa all won, and we're still waiting on a score from Ohio State and Brigham Young East (we assume that's what BYE stands for). The tiebreakers remain exactly the same, then, with the only difference being that there is now one fewer game for the first three teams mentioned to lose. With a finite -- and indeed, extremely limited -- amount of games to play, the passage of one week without a dropoff from the top four is in and of itself important, even if the stipulations and situations themselves don't change. Perhaps this isn't something to "have learned," per se , but for the top of the conference, the maintenance of the status quo is still meaningful.

4. Penn State's offense might actually exist. When Northwestern went up 21-0 on a sensational Drake Dunsmore* touchdown late in the first half, it would have been perfectly logical to assume that the Penn State offensive attack, led by former walk-on Matt McGloin, didn't have much of a shot to make up the deficit. After all, it would have tied the largest deficit a Joe Paterno-coached Penn State team had ever made up in his previous 399 victories, and that's a lot of victories.

But of course, Penn State did exactly that, scoring the final 35 points of the game to win 35-21. McGloin poured in four touchdown passes, but the real heroes were on PSU's oft-maligned offensive line; the front five paved enough holes to let both Evan Royster and Silas Redd top 100 rushing yards on the day, and McGloin's 225 passing yards simply wouldn't have happened if he had faced the pressure that regular starter Rob Bolden has become used to in this, his freshman season. Imagine that: when given time and space to operate, a previous all-conference honoree once again looked like an all-conference player, and a walk-on quarterback was able to execute to the best of his ability.

5. One quiet moment for Damario Belcher. We mentioned this play in passing earlier, but it's worth mentioning in more detail; with less than 30 seconds on the clock and the Hoosiers facing a 4th and 10 at the Iowa 18, Indiana QB Ben Chappell found wideout Damario Belcher open in the middle of the end zone. Belcher, already the team's leading receiver on the game with seven catches for 50 yards, made an athletic move to catch the ball with nobody on him and got both hands on it, leading most in the stadium to assume Indiana had scored the putative winning touchdown.

Alas, as an eagle-eyed referee (and several optimistic Iowa players) noticed, Belcher bobbled the pass and never controlled it before the ball hit the ground and rolled away ineffectually, making the play nothing more than a drive-killing incomplete pass. Indiana challenged, but it was an easy confirmation for replay officials; it clearly was not a catch. Iowa knelt on the ball, and just like that, Indiana lost on a play Belcher makes probably 90-95% of the time.

Again, this isn't strictly something to learn, but it's something important to remember: Belcher's a human being, and he doesn't need anybody to remind him that he screwed the game-winning play up. There's likely nobody in the world -- like, at all -- who feels worse about the loss than he does. So to anybody who finds it necessary to complain that Belcher "sucks" or is "stupid" or "needs to get his damn head in the game" or whatever arbitrary derogatory remark they think applies to Belcher, one piece of advice: save it. Just don't add to the crapfest that guy's season already became, and strike a note for civility instead. Granted, Indiana football fans aren't generally known to be nasty or otherwise unreasonable to begin with or anything, but still: let's all keep our heads screwed on about this game and this 20-year-old kid playing it.

*Did you know: Drake Dunsmore is a second-generation college football player. His father is Pat Dunsmore, a star tight end who was drafted in the fourth round by the Chicago Bears in 1983 and played two seasons with the team. And where did Pat Dunsmore go to school? Yep: Drake University.

Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:48 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2010 9:19 pm
 

What I learned from the Big Ten (Oct. 16)

Posted by Adam Jacobi

1. It's anybody's conference. With Wisconsin putting the finishing touches on a stunning 31-18 upset of the Ohio State Buckeyes, here are the teams that are at least tied with OSU in the Big Ten standings: Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue, and Wisconsin. Purdue is probably not going to contend for the Big Ten title, but the other three teams mentioned certainly will. Michigan State, of all the teams, must be the most ecstatic about the result in Madison; the Spartans are undefeated, the only Big Ten team who's 3-0 in the conference, and they miss Ohio State this year. But Iowa's at 2-0 in conference play, and the Spartans have to visit Iowa City in two weeks. Who would have thought back in August that MSU at Iowa could be the most pivotal contest of the Big Ten season?

2. Denard Robinson is most certainly mortal. It's not as Denard Robinson was a non-factor against the Iowa Hawkeyes today: Robinson racked up 204 yards of total offense in about 35 minutes of work. But for the third time this season, Shoelace left a game with an injury, and for the second time, that injury shelved him for the rest of the game. One of the most remarkable things about Robinson's production thus far is the sheer heft of Robinson's workload. Yes, he can't lead the nation in rushing and throw for over 200 yards without either throwing or rushing on the vast majority of Michigan's snaps. But that's an incredibly difficult thing to do, and now we're seeing some evidence that it's just not sustainable -- especially now that Robinson's not facing cupcake defenses like Massachusetts or Notre Dame (I kid, ND, I kid). Thanks to a bye week, Robinson has two weeks to recover before his next start, at Penn State. Does Tate Forcier still gets some snaps in relief at Beaver Stadium? Should he?

3. Wisconsin's rushing game is alive and well. Coming into today, John Clay was having a pretty good season, but considering Wisconsin's opposition, Clay wasn't looking dominant. That changed this week, when the big junior running back was running untouched through giant rushing lanes against Ohio State. That's not entirely surprising, but if Iowa doesn't have the best defensive line in the conference, then Ohio State surely must, and that Buckeye front four was absolutely gouged today. So if the Badgers can run all over Ohio State, they can probably run all over everybody left on their schedule. Again, the only remaining great defensive line on Wisconsin's schedule is Iowa, and that game's coming up this week. That should be just a little fun to watch. 

4. Congratulations to Penn State, who did not lose this week. Technically, it didn't play, but any iota of good news is welcome in Happy Valley these days.

5. Don't be that surprised if Illinois runs the table from here on out. It would be foolish to look at Illinois and see just another .500 team. Illinois' three losses are to still-undefeated Missouri, still-undefeated Michigan State, and only-recently-defeated Ohio State. In every one of those games, Illinois was competitive into the fourth quarter. And guess what: Illinois doesn't have any games against ranked competition left. Nathan Scheelhaase and Mikel LeShoure are growing as a QB-RB tandem week to week, and the toughest opponent left on the Illini schedule is, oh, let's say Northwestern. Illinois may be 3-3 today, but it may be 8-4 (or even better) before you know it.

6. The Tim Brewster farewell tour's going to be hard to watch. Fans of comedy in college football are going to lose an important ally this season, as Minnesota informed the world that Tim Brewster's not coming back next season. It's a shame, really, but it's only surprising insofar as Brewster hasn't been asked to clean out his office right now instead. Minnesota's got some decent athleticism, especially on the edges, so if that talent gets in the hands of a decent coach (MIKE LEACH MIKE LEACH MIKE LEACH DO ITTTTTTT), that program up north might wake up and make some noise next season. But only if Minnesota hires Leach.

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Posted on: October 16, 2010 7:43 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 8:37 pm
 

Rich Rodriguez: Trainers wouldn't let Denard play

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Michigan may have made a game of it in their 38-28 loss to Iowa in Ann Arbor, but the interesting thing is that their comeback came without the services of their star quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson took a shot to his right arm early in the third quarter, and after he threw on the sideline for his trainers, he was left out for the rest of the game. Tate Forcier excelled in relief, throwing for 239 yards on 17-26 passing.

Now, there hasn't been any official word on the severity of Robinson's injury, though it didn't look bad enough to, say, require surgery. But after the game, head coach Rich Rodriguez did give an indication of why Robinson stayed out. The Michigan Daily's Nicole Auerbach reported today that according to Rodriguez, Robinson's shoulder had been "bothering him in practice this week," and that trainers would not let Robinson re-enter the ballgame.

Again, this isn't the same as a diagnosis on the injury, but it doesn't appear to be a structural problem, if you will; Robinson was allowed to throw passes on the sidelines, after all, and he kept his pads on for the duration of the game. In other words, this is probably an injury that heals with rest, and we don't expect him to be out for a long time. Still, being that Robinson's backup is himself a former starter who put up some solid numbers against Iowa, don't be surprised if Rodriguez takes his time bringing Robinson back to his prior level of use.

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Posted on: October 16, 2010 5:37 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 5:47 pm
 

Denard Robinson injured, Tate Forcier in

Posted by Adam Jacobi

With 11:11 left in the third quarter, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson left the Iowa game after apparently injuring his right arm or shoulder. Robinson had just run a scramble for a first down before he was sandwiched by two Iowa defenders. He came down hard on his arm, and stayed on the ground in a ton of pain. It was a clean play, but football's a rough game.

Tate Forcier came in for Robinson, not Devin Gardner as had happened earlier in the season, and the sophomore is leading Michigan on a drive into Iowa territory as we speak. [UPDATE: Vincent Smith fumbled the ball away on Iowa's 14-yard line later on that drive. Definitely not Forcier's fault.]

We'll have updates on Robinson's health as they become available. 

[UPDATE, 5:44 p.m.: Robinson has re-entered the game to start Michigan's next drive after throwing on the sidelines.]

[UPDATE, 5:46 p.m.: Robinson got ready to come back in the game, but Forcier stayed in the game. Disregard earlier update.]

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Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:33 am
 

Denard Robinson will play against Indiana

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Considering that Denard Robinson accounted for roughly 99% of the Michigan offense in the team's first three games, it's pretty hard to blame Michigan fans everywhere for holding their breath when Robinson went down during the first quarter against Bowling Green on Saturday.  There probably isn't a single player more important to any team in the country.

If Michigan wants to compete for the Big Ten title this season, it needs Robinson.  Tate Forcier and Devin Gardner may have filled in quite well in Robinson's absence on Saturday, but the rest of the Big Ten isn't Bowling Green.  Which is why Wolverines fans can be relieved to know that Robinson is going to play against Indiana this Saturday as a few days of rest is all his knee needs to heal.

In fact, Michigan quarterbacks coach Rod Smith said Robinson could have come back into the game against Bowling Green had it actually been competitive in the second half.  Instead Smith and Rich Rodriguez decided to take the cautious route, as both men know how important Robinson is to the team's success and don't want to risk an injury if they don't have to.

Which is something Rodriguez is also trying to preach to his quarterback.

"I wish he would have stepped out before he got hit," said Rodriguez, who said a few days of rest should be enough. "That was the first thing. Denard is such a competitive guy, he wants to score on every snap. You don't want to hinder him from that thought, because sometimes he can. But when a hit's inevitable and you're not going to get anymore yards, scoot out of bounds and go to the next play."


Not surprising to hear considering how Rodriguez's job is tied to Robinson's health as well.  The last thing he needs is for Robinson to go down to an injury and then watch his team go 1-7 in conference play again this season like they did in 2009, because he won't survive it for a second year.
 
 
 
 
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