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Posted on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 11:25 a.m.

Tate Forcier a punter, too? Don't count on it

By Dave Birkett

There's a reason Tate Forcier looked so comfortable on his first career punt in Saturday's 38-34 win over Notre Dame - he's done it before.

Forcier, Michigan's true freshman quarterback, doubled as a punter (and defensive back) for his high school team in California, and Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez said Forcier worked occasionally on the skill during fall camp.

"He's very good at it," Rodriguez said.

For that reason, Rodriguez didn't hesitate to call a quick kick on a crucial fourth-and-2 near midfield late in Saturday's third quarter.

After Kelvin Grady was stopped for a 3-yard gain on third down, Michigan's offense lined up as it normally would, without a huddle, for an offensive play. Forcier took the snap, rolled a few steps to his right and, with Notre Dame's regular defense still on the field, pooched the ball with his right foot.

The punt traveled 49 yards in the air, landed at the Irish 12-yard line, and was touched dead at the 4 by Greg Mathews for a net 50-yard kick that both caught Notre Dame off-guard and changed the field-position battle.

“I don’t want to give you all the reasons why (we quick kicked), just the situation was fourth down, you don’t really want to go for it and sometimes you can try and quick kick it before they’re ready," Rodriguez said. "If we do it on third down, you better check my pulse. We’ll never do it on third down, but on fourth down, that’s something that’s in our package."

Though he's the unofficial Big Ten leader in punting, Forcier said he's not angling for teammate and preseason All-American Zoltan Mesko's job.

"I might have got lucky on that one punt," Forcier joked Monday. "But better to be lucky than good."



Thu, Sep 17, 2009 : 12:19 a.m.

Tate is good no doubt about it. Whether the team will be as good as you BLUE BRAINS think they will remains to be seen.I see the three "State" schools beating them as well as either Illinois and and the Badgers or both.


Wed, Sep 16, 2009 : 11:13 a.m.

Good call Ohiowolverine.... I just registered and voted for Tate and he was at #23 when I did. He only has 89 votes thus far(Bradford from Oklahoma had 154 having only played 1 half of 1 game in an loosing effort to BYU) so everyone go register and vote for Tate. This kid has given Michigan fans everywhere more optimism and excitement than we have had in the last 19 months so we owe it to him to show our appreciation and thanks. GO BLUE!!!


Wed, Sep 16, 2009 : 10:30 a.m.

That was a great call and extremely well executed play by Tate, et al. ND was definitely caught with their pants down on that one. It's just one more play in the arsenal that will keep the other team honest.


Wed, Sep 16, 2009 : 8:27 a.m.

Just wait till Tate catches his own pass for a TD this Saturday.


Wed, Sep 16, 2009 : 6:47 a.m.

OneWolverine- Have faith in Theo. I have been a contributor here for a long time, I am extremely wise, and tater and willievrine are a couple of my closest confidants. Penn St., and believe it or not Illinois, are the only two games that we MIGHT lose this year. If you saw other newspapers this morning, you'll have seen that Tressel is now mocking his own fans who are calling him out because he is, well, a failure. This is making another legend's (jimtrashel) predictions come true concerning the spucks. Namely, 1. Trouble with Navy - check 2. Trojans 41 spucks 20 - check (I'll still give him this one) 3. Unravel - check (it's beginning, Pryor playing poorly, coach mocking fans, etc...) 4. UM 34 spucks 13 Finally: The spuckeyes fate was sealed. The 3-9 wounds were healed. The maintenance crews Were very amused To scrape Pryor off the field! -Theo Beckman Brandstatter '09 Take down all the pictures of the old Burgermeister and replace them with ones of the glorious, magnificent, magnorious KING RICHROD!!!!!!


Wed, Sep 16, 2009 : 6:20 a.m.

Theo 212 wrote.... UM 42 EMU 3 UM 48 Ind 7 UM 34 MSU 20 UM 28 Iowa 17 UM 54 Del St 0 Theo I sure hope you are right!;>)


Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 9:23 p.m.

It would be funny if Forcier ended up in the NFL- as a punter. They won't give someone his size a legitimate chance at QB, but they might let him punt.


Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 9:22 p.m.

MichMich wrote: "How AWESOME was that game? I've never had so much fun at the Big House in my life!" I went to one game that might have been that much fun: the Heisman Pose game. It was great to see a sea of scarlet and gray head to the exits at the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER. I'm hoping for an encore performance of that exodus soon.


Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 9:14 p.m.

Can we try him as DB?


Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 6:32 p.m.

UM 42 EMU 3 UM 48 Ind 7 UM 34 MSU 20 UM 28 Iowa 17 UM 54 Del St 0

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 5:28 p.m.

I remember when Brian Griese used to pooch-punt in those situations. It was impossible to generate a return even when the defense knew it was coming. A definite plus that Forcier has this skill. It's not easy even to consistently kick a punt 30 yards.


Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 4:43 p.m.

Don't forget to go to and vote for Tate. He's #22 right now. GO BLUE!!!!!


Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 3:05 p.m.

Is there anything the kid can't do? We must remember though he is just starting out & he is not Superman. It sure looks like he might be another great Michigan quarterback though. May the Forcier be with us!! Go Blue!!


Tue, Sep 15, 2009 : 2:26 p.m.

How AWESOME was that game? I've never had so much fun at the Big House in my life!