Posted on: September 25, 2010 3:33 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 5:07 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
At halftime I said that if the Wolverines were going to have an easy time in the second half of their contest against Bowling Green then the Michigan defense was going to have to tighten up. It did, allowing only seven more points over the final 30 minutes. Though the way the Michigan offense played with Tate Forcier at quarterback for an injured Denard Robinson, the defense could have relaxed a bit.
Forcier was fantastic for the Wolverines in Robinson's place. After leading the Wolverines to a touchdown in the closing minutes of the second half, he picked up right where he left off in the second half. Forcier led the Wolverines on six more touchdown drives and finished the day completing all 12 of his pass attempts for 110 yards and picked up 30 more with his legs en route to an easy 65-21 win.
In a year that saw Forcier starting fall practice without wings on his helmet, and was followed by seeing Forcier on the sidelines with a towel over his head during Michigan's opening victory over UConn before transfer rumors broke, today had to feel great for the sophomore quarterback. Of course, who knows what this will mean as far as further playing time is concerned.
Before leaving the game with his knee injury Denard Robinson was playing like his usual amazing self. He's in no danger of losing his starting gig, but given his history of getting dinged up during games, odds are that Forcier will see the field a bit more this season.
No doubt Michigan is happy to still have him.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 1:48 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Denard Robinson is yet to return following his injury in the first quarter , and without him Michigan is having a bit more trouble against Bowling Green than they'd like. After taking a 21-0 lead following Robinson's injury the same Michigan defense that showed up over the last two weeks against Notre Dame and UMass returned for the Wolverines, giving up successive touchdown drives to Bowling Green.
Tate Forcier would come on for Devin Gardner -- who had originally replaced Robinson -- late in the second quarter and led the Wolverines on a touchdown drive to extend the lead to 28-14.
While Robinson's absence will get most of the attention in this game, the simple truth is that whether he's in the game or not, it's Michigan's defense that will have the most say in the outcome of this game. If they can show up in the second half and stop Bowling Green then this game is already over. If they don't, and keep playing the way they have been in recent weeks, well, then anything can happen.
In fact, Rich Rodriguez may be considering bringing Robinson back in for the second half if his knee isn't anything serious.
Posted on: September 5, 2010 5:23 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 7:21 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
GOAT*: Denard Robinson. Michigan's electric quarterback Denard Robinson thrilled fans at the Big House, completing 19 of 22 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 197 more yards and another score. Robinson even shook off a third-quarter hip injury, returning after just one series. Robinson's performance was downright seismic: it likely drove backup Tate Forcier to transfer, and it's the type of on-field brilliance around which Heisman candidacies are built. Of course, it was against UConn, and Michigan will not play UConn for every game; if they did, Jim Delany would be fired immediately. But it's hardly a guarantee that Terrelle Pryor can outperform Robinson over the course of the season, and last we checked, Terrelle Pryor was basically the nation's best Heisman candidate coming into week 1.
Goat: Mike Pouncey. Florida's season debut against Miami University--the one that's in Ohio, mind you, and went 1-11 last year--was almost a disaster of the highest order. Yes, Florida won 34-12, but that was a rather deceptive final score--Florida converted a 4th and 21 touchdown near the end of the game to push the margin to 22, and Miami was within 9 points in the 4th quarter (and that's without scoring a single touchdown).
Don't let the 34-point tally fool you: Florida struggled mightily on offense, and the primary culprit was Mike Pouncey, who had moved from guard to center to take over for his brother Maurkice, a first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers this spring. Pouncey was an unmitigated disaster at center: ESPN announcers counted over a dozen botched snaps, usually out of the shotgun, and the dropped snaps usually killed whatever momentum Florida was trying to sustain against a young but aggressive defense.
Pouncey's unlikely to last more than one more game at center; if he even makes it to the South Florida game, it's because his inevitable replacement needs another week to work on his timing with QB John Brantley. But Pouncey's struggles were some of the worst we've ever seen from a center, and Urban Meyer has never been patient with ineptitude from his players.
GOAT: Jack Crowe. The Jacksonville State Gamecocks pulled one of the most unlikely upsets in years with a 49-48 comeback stunner at Ole Miss, and for head coach Jack Crowe, the irony must have been delicious. 18 years ago, Crowe was on the other end of the "I-AA team beats SEC team" when his Arkansas Razorbacks were upset by the Citadel, 10-3. Crowe was fired just the next day.
Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt probably won't suffer the same immediate indignity as Crowe did 18 years ago, mainly because I-AA teams are far more capable of beating their I-A opponents than 18 years ago, when these types of games were such mere formalities en route to 60-point margins that they didn't even count toward bowl eligibility. But this loss--especially after Jeremiah Masoli was granted eligibility the day prior--may prove fatal to Nutt's career in Oxford at season's end.
Goat: the Oklahoma secondary. Any talk of Oklahoma as a national title contender should be tabled indefinitely, if the Sooners's disturbing 31-24 victory over Utah State is any indication of how they'll perform this season. The USU Aggies--generally considered a middle-of-the-road WAC team--rode a 341-yard, 2 TD performance by quarterback Diondre Borel to rack up 421 yards of offense. The Aggies even had the ball in Oklahoma territory midway through the fourth quarter, but the Sooners defense stiffened and pushed USU back to the 33 before the Aggies missed a 50-yard field goal. Still, this is Utah State we're talking about here.
Oklahoma has Florida State coming to Norman next week, and while it's not like Christian Ponder's about to throw 4 TDs in a half again like he did to Samford this week, it sure seems like he's going to find a porous secondary to shred--not the stout defense that typifies a BCS champion. So, Sooners. It's either shut down Ponder or watch your title dreams get eaten by scorpions. No pressure.
Posted on: September 4, 2010 9:28 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 9:34 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Well, so much for Tate Forcier dismissing all those transfer rumors last month as nothing but that: rumors.
If you were watching Michigan beat Connecticut earlier on Saturday afternoon, you no doubt saw the shot of Forcier sitting on the sideline alone and with a towel over his head. No doubt pondering his future as he watched Denard Robinson light it up, and then, after seeing Robinson leave the game with an injury for a while, Devin Gardner getting the call to replace him.
It seems that Forcier has come to a conclusion on his future in Ann Arbor. More specifically, that there won't be one.
As Forcier walked off the field looking as if his team were on the losing end of their 30-10 victory he was approached by reporters who know doubt wanted to ask him about the game and his feelings. Forcier didn't even give them a chance to ask.
"All you need to know is I'm out," he told them.
Forcier then retreated to the locker room, and upon leaving he ignored autograph seekers, gave a few hugs, and walked off with his cell phone to his ear.
This isn't the most shocking development, as the signs have been there for a while. First, Forcier not having the Michigan wings on his helmet during practice, the rumors of his transfer, and then his demotion to third string on the depth chart. It wasn't as much a question of would he transfer, but when?
Of course, nothing is official yet, and this all could have just been an emotional reaction to a bad day for the sophomore quarterback. Still, i wouldn't expect to see Forcier standing on the sidelines at the Big House in the maize and blue ever again.
Posted on: September 4, 2010 6:04 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Denard Robinson has been putting together a superlative performance today: 14/16 for 108 yards through the air, and 23 electric carries for 170 yards and 1 TD. But on his last carry--a demoralizing QB draw to convert a 3rd and 15 from deep in Michigan territory--Robinson took a shot to his left hip, then landed on the hip awkwardly. The injury appears to be minor, though, as Robinson was back on the field to start the fourth quarter for the Wolverines.
Robinson was briefly replaced by freshman Devin Gardner, who holds the distinction of not being returning starter Tate Forcier. Forcier has denied rumors of wanting to transfer, but considering Robinson's dominance and Gardner's spot off the bench, it seems like Forcier's going to encounter scant playing time as long as both Robinson and Gardner are healthy.
Posted on: September 4, 2010 11:13 am
Edited on: September 4, 2010 12:45 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier stepped up as the starting quarterback in 2009 for the Wolverines as a true freshman. With questions about the program and the new big name coach looming, Forcier took on the pressures of the starting job to mixed reviews.
For Michigan's season opener against Connecticut in the Big House on Saturday, Forcier should be feeling a lot less pressure. After all, the quarterback job is much easier when you are the third-string quarterback.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Michigan's quarterback rotation against Connecticut is "expected" to begin with Denard Robinson, followed by true freshman Devin Gardner, then Forcier.
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