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Posted on Sat, Nov 14, 2009 : 5:08 p.m.

What rumors? Tate Forcier starts, says he's 'fine' with Michigan football coaches

By Dave Birkett


Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier looks to pass the ball in the third quarter at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday. (Photo: Melanie Maxwell |

MADISON, Wis. - When Tate Forcier trotted out for the Michigan football team’s first offensive series against Wisconsin, even he was surprised.

Forcier said he didn’t expect to start Saturday after he missed study table earlier in the week, and he and Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez got into a disagreement over “practice.”

The misunderstanding was resolved, Forcier said, and he made up his missed academic time.

“What happened, happened,” Forcier said. Fellow freshman quarterback Denard Robinson “took a lot of reps throughout the week. I actually expected him to start, but Coach Rod threw me out there, and I made the most of it.

“We just got into a little bit of an argument, but me and Coach Rod are fine. Me and all the coaches are actually fine.”

Internet message boards were abuzz with rumors that Forcier had been suspended and Robinson would make his first career start against Wisconsin.

Robinson did start - at running back - but played sparingly at quarterback as he has most of the season.

He finished with a team-high 36 yards rushing on 5 carries, but completed just 1-of-5 passes. Forcier was 20-of-26 passing for 188 yards in Michigan’s 45-24 loss. He led every Wolverine scoring drive.

“I’ve been on Tate pretty hard, but it’s been more - not his effort, just more his concentration on getting better and doing the things he’s supposed to do on and off the field,” Rodriguez said. “He wouldn’t admit it, but I think at some point you hit a little bit of a wall without an open date, and academically and athletically there’s a lot on your plate.”

Robinson declined to talk with reporters after the game.

Forcier said he thought he “played decent,” but was more concerned with snapping Michigan’s six-game Big Ten losing streak next week against Ohio State.

The Wolverines (5-6, 1-6) need a win to reach a bowl game.

“There’s always room for improvement, and that’s my job,” Forcier said. “Every week it’s preparation, and we have the biggest game of the year next week and we got to come out hungry next week.”

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Sun, Nov 15, 2009 : 6:54 p.m.

My prediction before the Wis. game: Tate plays QB, goes 20-30 for 155 yds, and MI loses 42-17.............hmmmmmmm, prettty close to what happened.. I'm just a season ticket holding businessman from Ann Arbor - I sure don't know anything special about Big Ten football. But if I can figure out what's going to happen to them - - - -I think that full-time, highly paid coaches figured it out a long time ago.. Bottom line? This is a one-trick pony team that will most likely go 5-7. Next year it will be lucky to go 7-5. Maybe in 2011 it'll go 8-4, but then again maybe not.............


Sun, Nov 15, 2009 : 12:26 p.m.

Zulu, I actually still like Tate and think he can be a very good QB with proper coaching. As for Robinson, though, I think you are right on. Robinson was expecting to start (even Tate was expecting it!), had gotten the reps in practice, and then RR pulled the rug out from under him right before the game. The fact that Robinson refused to speak to the media yesterday speaks volumes. I wouldn't be suprised if he transferred at the end of the year, either. As for everyone's savior Gardner, who's to say he won't decommit? The writing is on the wall with RR, I'm sure there are more stable, better coached programs offering him scholarships. Besides, after what happened with Robinson yesterday, can a recruit really trust anything RR says? RR is completely failing at one of the most can't miss programs in the U.S. Maybe when he's fired after next season, Glenville State will want him back...although I doubt it.


Sun, Nov 15, 2009 : 9:49 a.m.

MaCabre Sunset: It's interesting how you are so ready to say that Shoelace is beginning to realize that he is not QB material and that if he wants a shot at the NFL he should either go to a Div. AA school or switch positions. It seems to me that RR did not show a lot of character as a coach by starting Tater after he violated team rulesand giving Shoelace the majority of reps last week. It shows how desperate the man is. What this should signal to Shoelace and to Devon Gardner, the highly recruited QB fron Inkster is that RR will cave into pressure to play Tater at all cost regardless. Seems that RR would rather lose with Tater to please the fans than give Shoelace a decent chance to show what he can do. If I were Shoelace, yes I would consider another school and Gardner should de-committ before he gets involved in this mess. Let Tater and RR have each other.


Sat, Nov 14, 2009 : 10:53 p.m.

FYI, the sign in the Michigan locker room now reads: "THOSE WHO STAY WILL BE LOSERS" If the braintrust at U of M don't go out and hire a good young coach with the integrity and fire of Bo then we'll all be sitting home over the holidays with no bowl game to watch. This Rodriguez character is a joke and a disgrace to the UM Football program and university and must be sent packing now before it;s too late!!!


Sat, Nov 14, 2009 : 10:38 p.m.

"Used to be beating Mich. would make our year"!Didn't they LOSE to Mich. last season?I wouldn't get TOO HIGH on the hog just yet Wiscy fans.Lets bring it down a notch!!I mean,yes we're struggling but we ain't strugglin' that much where Wiscy fans can act like they OWN US!!The Suckeyes own that distinction(for now)!!But get in line.I'm sure RR would LOVE to add you to a list "first time etc.,etc." like every team in the Big Ten so far in his first 2 yrs.


Sat, Nov 14, 2009 : 10:07 p.m.

Forcier has a lot of talent - wish we had him here at Wisconsin. Wondering why they don't use his running ability more, roll him out, QB draws, options. Many of us Wisconsin fans are not happy with the demise of UM football. Used to be beating UM would make our year. Would always be a big date on the football calender - not anymore. Bring back Lloyd Carr!!!

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Nov 14, 2009 : 9:31 p.m.

I think Robinson's beginning to realize that he's not good enough to be a quarterback in the Big Ten. So he has to decide whether he wants a shot at the NFL, converting to another skill position here, or roll the dice and gamble everything on making progress at quarterback where he would get the opportunity, in I-AA. Forcier is a quarterback, but has hit a wall, regressing under poor coaching. I suspect he's our only shot at winning games as long as RichRod is running the show. I hope he stays healthy and does a little bit better at the proverbial study table.

Man in the Mirror

Sat, Nov 14, 2009 : 7:39 p.m.

Robinson taking snaps at practice yet starts at running back, Big Little Man Tate getting bored with this whole thing and not focused missing "practice". Hmmm.....


Sat, Nov 14, 2009 : 6:50 p.m.

Bryan Kelly.....we need you.


Sat, Nov 14, 2009 : 6:23 p.m.

Robinson declined to talk to the media after the game and Tate had a disagreement with coaches during the week. Great. Infer what you will, but none of it feels positive. What's new under RR...