You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 9:58 p.m.

Tate Forcier shows moxie in relief role during Michigan's loss; Denard Robinson should be OK

By Pete Bigelow


Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier (5) and wide receiver Junior Hemingway celebrate after Forcier dove into the end zone for a second-half touchdown against Iowa. Forcier rallied the Wolverines late, but Iowa won 38-28 at Michigan Stadium on Saturday.

Melanie Maxwell I

Tate Forcier spurred a lot of chatter Saturday when he started warming up on the sidelines during the second quarter.

He wasn’t planning on entering the game. But after being caught by surprise two weeks ago against Indiana, Michigan’s backup quarterback has made it a point to stay loose throughout the game.

“You never know what will happen,” Forcier said Saturday. “If my name is called, I’m ready.”

One quarter later, the Wolverines needed him.

Denard Robinson aggravated an preexisting shoulder injury and exited the game with 11 minutes left in the third quarter. This time, Forcier was ready.

He rallied the Wolverines to three fourth-quarter touchdowns and could have directed another scoring drive had Vincent Smith not fumbled away a promising drive on the Iowa 14-yard line.

In the end, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Hawkeyes, who held for a 38-28 victory at Michigan Stadium. But for the second time this season, Forcier stood out in a relief role and earned respect.

“Forcier did a tremendous job of coming back,” Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi said. “That was a gutsy performance and he just played a heck of a game in the second half and really made some nice plays.”

Forcier finished 17 of 26 passing for 239 yards in less than two quarters of work, throwing one TD pass, running for another score while throwing two interceptions.

He received a loud round of applause upon entering the game, then energized the Michigan offense.

“I really didn’t think they were expecting to play me,” Forcier said of the Hawkeyes. “I think it kind of shocked Iowa when I went out there. We just started throwing the ball a lot, and that’s when we started moving the ball.”

He completed six passes for 105 yards to receiver Junior Hemingway, who caught a 45-yard touchdown strike down the left sideline that closed the deficit to 35-21.

Later in the fourth quarter, Foricer threw toward Darryl Stonum on four consecutive plays - completing three passes - before glancing in Hemingway’s direction again on a deep pass down the right sideline that he underthrew for a 31-yard reception.

Even though it wasn’t the perfect pass, Forcier had confidence that Hemingway, starting for an injured Martavious Odoms, would make the play.

“After I saw what Junior did for Denard against Indiana, I trusted him,” said Forcier, recalling Hemingway’s 42-yard grab in the waning moments that set up a game-winning score versus the Hoosiers.

“He went up and got it.”

Hemingway finished with a nine catches for a game-high 134 receiving yards and a TD. Stonum finished with nine catches - seven from Forcier - for 97 yards.

“Everybody just was excited when Tate got in,” receiver Roy Roundtree said. “He just showed what he can bring to the table. I don’t know who was game game planning, but when Tate got his chance, he showed up.”

It was the second time this season that Forcier stood out in a relief role. When Robinson got hurt against Bowling Green, Forcier entered the game and completed 12 of 12 passes, setting an school record for single-game accuracy.

He’ll return to the bench, most likely by the team’s next game.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said trainers ruled Robinson out for the remainder of Saturday’s game, but that given the bye week ahead, expected Robinson would be ready to play against Penn State in two weeks.

Asked after the game if he would reconsider his starting quarterback after Forcier’s performance, Rodriguez nearly choked on the question.

“Denard Robinson’s our starting quarterback,” he said definitively. “Tate Forcier’s a pretty good quarterback too.”

Pete Bigelow covers the Michigan football team for He can be reached at (734) 623-2551, via email at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Tue, Oct 19, 2010 : 1:22 p.m.

I don't think the Little Caesar's is out of the question...but it doesn't look good


Mon, Oct 18, 2010 : 1:52 p.m.

For those hating on Denard. He threw one interception. One. Last week he threw 3. He is playing a little more hesitant but he should still be our starting quarterback. The drives he lead were stalled by, Lewan, 1 Personal Foul, 1 Holding Penalty, and I believe 2 False starts. Then we get in four down territory go for it, convert just to kick a field goal? Blocked. Everyone knew it. Denard had 5 incompletions, take away the pick and it's four, two were dropped and two were tipped away. Tate is dope and that should be noted be Michigan's best chance to win is to keep DR on the field. (and the defense off it.) We are supposed to be fans of this team regardless. We ran one coach out of here who only had the second highest winning percentage and a National Championship, and it is absolutely mind-blowing to see everyone do it wit RR year after year. Football is about excitement. We don't watch Michigan every week and expect them to dominate. We watch them because of the excitement. Let's face it the last two years have been roller-coasters of emotion and it's what make the game fun. For everyone out there remember it's a game and its supposed to be this way. You can't win them all and with the economy the way it is more and more Non-Traditional schools are going to be getting a lot more players. MICHIGAN WILL BE FINE. Running RR out of town for losing games where underclassmen turn the ball over SEVEN TIMES is not going to fix anything. They can play better they are young and there is nothing RR or any Michigan-Man coach can do about it.

Nick Clarke

Mon, Oct 18, 2010 : 1:26 p.m.

As an Iowa fan I was very impressed with the way Michigan fought its way back into the game. I am absolutely astonished as to why RichRod refuses to give Tate a chance at starting. Denard is good against teams with no defense. But everyone knows he can't pass to save his life. Tate brings a great arm and more balance to Michigans offense. Atleast use him and denard which would give the team a very potent 1-2 punch. It definitely seems like Rich Rod has something against Forcier. It will be no surprise if he tranfers after this season to a team that appreciates his talent.


Mon, Oct 18, 2010 : 8:26 a.m.

Against a good and big defensive Big Ten team like Iowa: Denard = 7 points in 3 quarters, Tate = 21 points in more than 1 quarter. This only means that Tate can score against a good, big defensive Big Ten team even with turnovers. I'm not saying that he should start, I'm saying that Tate should be given at least a quarter of playing time. There are teams where Denard will stall and is with Big Ten defenses. With smaller programs, Denard is the king but against Big Ten defenses, Tate is better at QB. The MSU game and the Iowa game last year were close because of Tate.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 8:38 p.m.

Newsflash, Tater: YOU'RE the one beating the dead horse. You've been selling this idea that Michigan would be a national champion within three years of Rodriguez being hired. Well, no one's buying it and you shouldn't be selling it. Michigan is a shell of a once-proud program. It's a bad team with one very fast player under center. A solid offense and nothing else. That's not a team. If you don't want people picking on your boyfriend, maybe he should beat a team with a record above.326.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 5:03 p.m.

Macabre, very ironic that MN cut their losses with a coach doing better than ours... No tears here if RR is unemployed by tomorrow and I don't think it'd make any difference in the final outcome of this (third) wasted season.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 2:13 p.m.

Macabre, according to your list (which is objective fact), Lloyd had a better record than any coach on there except Tressel. Interesting. We could beat all of the mediocre and bad teams (Michigan lost 1 game over the Bo/Mo/Lo era to a losing team - ONE!), we could beat all of the mid tier teams regualrly (MSU, Iowa, Wisconsin), and compete head to head with the big dogs (OSU, Auburn, Florida, Texas, etc)...and that got Lloyd on the hot seat. Looking at that same objective list, it doesn't take a scientist to understand why logical, reasoning fans would question the direction that RR is currently taking the program. It also isn't a leap to understand why, if Lloyd took heat for doing an outstanding job, that RR would take far more heat for doing a far less stellar job.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 2:03 p.m.

Anyone who blames Greg Robinson for the 3-3-5 defense isn't seeing the big picture. Robinson never ran a 3-3-5 in his career until RR, who ran a 3-3-5 at WVU, became his boss. Recall, too, that Scott Shafer never ran a 3-3-5 until, you guessed it, he started working for RR. Remember that Purdue game in 2008? Ugly. So, before people run G Robinson out of town for his terrible defense, remember that it's not Greg's's RR's.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 1:59 p.m.

Tim Brewster, the Minnesota coach, was fired today after another poor start to the season. Current Big Ten records, career, coach: Tressel, OSU: 61-13,.824 Bielema, WISC: 22-13,.629 Paterno, PSU: 86-52,.623 Hope, PUR: 6-4,.600 Dantonio, MSU: 16-11,.593 Ferentz, IOWA: 51-39,.567 Fitzgerald, NW: 16-17,.485 Zook, ILL: 13-30,.302 Brewster, MINN: 6-21,.222 Rodriguez, MICH: 4-15,.211 Lynch, IND: 5-21,.192 (Schembechler, MICH: 143-24-3,.850) (Carr, MICH: 81-23,.779) (Moeller, MICH: 30-8-2,.775)


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 1:40 p.m.

No way Tate over Denard. His first interception along the sideline proved that. But he should be included in the game plan more, especially when Denard seems to get stuffed consistently in mid-halves, every game. The defensive play improved above expectations, but that kicking game would make any good team mediocre. Embarrassing. BUT, no team should expect to overcome a 4-0 loss in the turnover margin, especially to a team as good as Iowa.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 11:53 a.m.

the way i see it with this defense, you just cant play 3-3-5 in the big ten and expect to win the battle in the trenches against teams like MSU, Iowa, Wisc, OSU. That may have worked back in WV but the Big East does not have people that big and that powerful on the line. Big Ten teams are just going to continue to pound the football down our throat like today, we thought we were decent on stopping the run but on 2 third down and longs Iowa runs the ball for 15 yards and a 1st down. i know the talent isnt there either but this 3-3-5 needs to go. as for the offense, iowa knew what was coming with denard and they stopped him just like wisc, osu, and probably illi and psu will do. denards passing has greatly improved but compare the type of throws denard makes to forciers. tate is always throwing downfield, while denard gets the ball and throws it straight to the outside at least 2-3 times per drive. tate can make still make all the throws but still trys to be the hero and forces plays, thats why he threw interceptions, not to mention he can acutally read defenses.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 10:58 a.m.

does anyone notice any similarity between rich rod and charlie weis.maybe its time for a billboard in ann arbor


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 10:44 a.m.

Even if you absolutely love RR (I don't), you have to admit that Greg Robinson is a train wreck that HAS to go. I could tolerate mistakes (they are kids after all, and most are underclassmen) IF and this is a really, really big IF that RR shows no signs of understanding, the team showed improvement in the areas that are throwing away wins...season progression improvement, half-time adjustment improvements, anything. Throw us a bone, RR.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 8:48 a.m.

Without a doubt Tate should play QB along with Denard at various positions like a Percy Harvin. Can you imagine the defenses nightmare trying to stop them on the field together. We get defensive personnel and the sky is the limit. Not very hard to see...if he continues with Denard at QB at least when he struggles allow Tate a few series to see what he can do!


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 8:44 a.m.

AD Brandon, do something or we will wind up in MAC.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 8:36 a.m.

Dustin, RR has a 4-15 conference record since 2008. Amazing how the mostly cupcake non-conference part has helped RR so much. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES 4-15 IN BIG TEN SINCE 2008! UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH!


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 8:17 a.m.

So now we're back to last year where everyone said, yes Tate s/b the QB but we've got to get DR on the field at slot, etc. With Tate at QB, D. Hart at RB, a great returning receiving unit, and DR wherever, this offense would be SICK next year, even against the best D's in the FBS. This will probably only happen if we get someone like Harbaugh here so I'm not hopeful, but I'm sure he'd love to coach and develop a QB like Tate.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 8:09 a.m.

Denard needs to sit. He is one dimensional,put in Tate. The other players seem to put forth more effort when Tate is QB. Maybe it is because they feel that they get to be involved in the the play/game also, rather than wait for Denard to tuck the ball and run again. We need some DB's, what happened to the M defenses of old? Rich Rod must go!


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 7:55 a.m.

Adding the following to Chapmaja's last sentence above, "The fact is the Wolverines should finish no worse than 8-4 this season barring more injuries to key players." and 8-4 is nothing to be proud of at 4-4 in Big 10. That's mediocre. There is no distinction in mediocrity. And, this team will not go 4-4 in the Big 10. They are far too inconsistent. They will be no better that 3-5 given the remaining competition. And, more likely, 2-6.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 7:06 a.m.

I was happy to see the team rallied, but once again, it is a tough loss. The bye this week should help the team with injuries and a week to reevaluate where does the team go from here. It is scarey to think, here we are at 5-2 and people are already writing this team off. I can't believe the players are going to give up, they can't. There is to much talent to go 5-7 again. There is no reason for it. I hope next Saturday, the team plays a scrimmage or something, they can't take the week off to go dancing, joy riding, or whatever. They need to put the helmets on, football suits on and get out there and watch the films, don't just think you are going to beat Illinois and Purdue or Penn State, you have to prove that you are better than they are. You are! There are no more easy wins, you get out there and show them Michigtan or the might M is back. Do you want to go to a bowl game? or do you want to sit home and enjoy the holidays? I would hope you want to enjoy your holidays at one of the 8 bowl slots reserved for Big Ten teams. Come on boys, stop being Santa Claus, get those wins, and pack those bags for Pasadena, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, or why not Glendale! Go Blue


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 3:01 a.m.

RR is not a Big 10 coach he is only dressed like one. Imposter. I do not buy what RR has sold to the Michigan Sports Directer. 3-15 against Big 10 it speaks for itself. RR should look in mirror and quite using the undersized players he recruited as his excuse. Robinson is a joke a D cord, just another example of RR fails. I would love the Big House 110 thousand strong to start chanting Fire RichRod! Then will the powers that be listen?


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 1:53 a.m.

I don't understand why RR doesnt at least have tate play some series each game and have both of them on the field. The offense would be unpredictable and pretty much unstoppable. As for the defense, I'm tired of seeing the cutback for 30 plus yards or the rb getting around the corner consistently thru the whole game. It's not the scheme b/c they're in position but they don't make the play. Change the personnel to find an defense that can be disruptive b/c once a offense is in second level against this defense its a TD almost everytime. My solution: Play 6 Dbs (floyd, kovacs, gordon, rogers, johnson and avery {talbott}), 2 LBs (Mouton,Roh{move inside; to slow to handle edge;attack inside gaps, have kovacs,johnson and avery and lineup in the box every snap, press wrs whether man or zone. Lineup Martin, Campbell{too big not to play to clog up middle} and Van Bergen upfront. THIS WILL OUR SEASON!!!


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 12:05 a.m.

This was another one of those games where certain aspects of the team played well enough to win, but other aspects of the team did not. The defense, as much as they struggled once again kept Michigan in position to be in the game. Again this week the offense and special teams did not play well enough to win the game. The blocked FG was bad enough, but the lack of mental performance after it was blocked was worse. The offense was decent, but the INT's killed and the fumble was a really bad play given the time and location. The defense wasn't able to make enough stops to help the offense which struggled with turnovers. The good news for Michigan is they get a few games with teams they should beat Penn St, Illinois and Purdue, before Wisconsin and Ohio St to close the season. I think Michigan might have just played the best two Big Ten teams back to back weeks. OSU didn't impress me, and Wisconsin has proven they are beatable. Iowa and MSU are the most complete teams in the Big Ten. Purdue is 2-0 in Big Ten play, but lost to Toledo and hasn't won a game by more than 10 ponts against teams UConn would beat up. They were lucky today to beat Minnesota. Purdue got as much help by stupid Golden Gopher plays as they got from their own plays. Illinois was exposed by MSU today as a fraud as well. The fact is the Wolverines should finish no worse than 8-4 this season barring more injuries to key players.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 12:01 a.m.

Denard is an exciting runner, but Tate is the better all around quarterback. He can thrown and run. I think if he had been in the driver's seat with the benefit of the better offensive line that he lacked last year, Michigan would have won the last two games. Denard's passing lost the Michigan State game, and at least helped lose the Iowa game (not as much as Michigan's horrible kicking though).


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 11:35 p.m.

Wow, I never thought the day will come when Michigan is desperate for a 6th win to make a crappy bowl game. It's a shame how this once storied program have fallen. I think RR and the players shouldn't talk to the media after the game period cause whatever they're selling I quit buying. "All their mistakes are small and fixables", "We can correct them" blah blah blah. Well boys guess what, time is running out and the same mistakes keep happening. Whatever they are fixing at practice, ain't showing on Sat period. This team is good enough to compete with Indiana, Uconn, BGSU,....because they have crappy defense just like BIG BLUE. Just go back and check how many pts and yards these teams scored against our D. This is reality folks and some of us don't wanna admit it. Our D is really really bad, our special teams well nonfunctional. Whether this team finishes 6-6 most likely or 7-5 by miracle it's still considered a failure in my opinion. If you can't beat MSU,IOWA,WISC,OSU,PSU than this team is just mediocore. Please I don't want to hear wait till next year, they'll get better. Just remember that other teams will get better ALSO.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 11:27 p.m.

Denard Robinsons our starting quarterback, he said definitively. Tate Forciers a pretty good quarterback too.. Coach Rod almost had it right. The more accurate quote would have been, "Denard Robinson is our starting athlete (wildcat, running back, slot guy, etc...). Tate's a pretty good Q.B., too.". I was there. It was easy to spot the difference.. Tate is a Quarterback, born and bred. He is a precise passer, with strong numbers today, made even more impressive by the fact that 113,000 people in the stands and everyone in Iowa knew he was going to throw, throw, throw.. Denard is a runner, born and bred. MSU and Iowa had it figured out: contain Denard's running, and make him beat you passing. He can beat UConn passing, but not Iowa, not MSU, and probably not many other Big 10 teams.. A question for the Coach: What's the big deal? Why not put the best runner and the best passer play in the same backfield and let each them each do what they do best?. Makes a lot more sense than a pretend fake punt by a true freshman (oh yeah, like anybody believed that!) at the end of the first half............


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 11:09 p.m.

Trigg, that's funny!! I will say this, if we just win 1 more game then its time to do some firing. This is critical because the longer u wait the less talent there will be available for the next coach. A new coach after this year will give him tate and denard for two yrs. If they don't transfer. RR is a good offensive coach, but that's it. It was nice to see some weight in the backfield today. About time. I think if he would have hired a better D coordinator., I would not be writing this. But who knows, maybe the D is bad because RR sticks his nose there making decisions he shouldn't like he did with Scott Shafer. RR is hard headed and that will ultimately cost him. Its hard to believe that 2 Coordinators that had success before were and are this terrible under RR. My guess is RR has something to do with it. Go blue regardless.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 11:04 p.m.

Trigg, that's funny!! I will say this, if we just win 1 more game then its time to do some firing. This is critical because the longer u wait the less talent there will be available for the next coach. A new coach after this year will give him tate and denard for two yrs. If they don't transfer. RR is a good offensive coach, but that's it. It was nice to see some weight in the backfield today. About time. I think if he would have hired a better D coordinator., I would not be writing this. But who knows, maybe the D is bad because RR sticks his nose there making decisions he shouldn't like he did with Scott Shafer. RR is hard headed and that will ultimately cost him. Its hard to believe that 2 Coordinators that had success before were and are this terrible under RR. My guess is RR has something to do with it. Go blue regardless.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 10:45 p.m.

Bye week 38 UM 14


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 10:34 p.m.

It looks like DRob is nervous and afraid to throw the ball now after the.MSU GAME.

NC Wolverine 20

Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 10 p.m.

Can Tate play DB?? Please?


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 9:44 p.m.

Things happen when Tate comes in to play. There is a spark there. We must take joy in the small victories now, the almost-comebacks, the good punts, the effort given by some players. The game victories are going to be few and far between. This team just can't put it all together to win consistently.