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Posted on Sat, Sep 25, 2010 : 4:49 p.m.

Michigan sophomore quarterback Tate Forcier returns to field, pledges he's not going anywhere

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier (5) was 12-of-12 passing in his first game action this season.

Melanie Maxwell I

Tate Forcier took a step off the sideline, the closest he had been to actually setting foot on the field this season.

The Michigan sophomore quarterback began bounding up and down, slapping any set of shoulder pads he could reach. Over the past month, he had been instructed to be patient and remain ready.

Waiting, he admitted Saturday, hadn't always been easy. But against Bowling Green, at least temporarily, Michigan was his team again. And, unlike the season-opener when Forcier sulked on the bench with a towel over his head, the smile that became a staple during his freshman season returned.

"Oh man, it felt good," Forcier said after completing all 12 passes he threw in Michigan's 65-21 win over Bowling Green. "I felt almost like my first start again and playing just felt so good."

Following an off-season when his teammates maintained he didn't work as hard as fellow quarterbacks Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner and when many doubted his desire to be at Michigan, Forcier made his position clear.

"A lot of people were saying I'm not staying here, but I'm still here," Forcier said. "I love Michigan and I love everything about it. I'm not going to leave. Not a chance."

In his competitive return Saturday, Forcier set a new Michigan record for quarterback efficiency, finishing the day 12-for-12 passing for 110 yards. He left in the fourth quarter after a hit to the leg left him with a noticeable limp.

But during his time on the field, Forcier appeared to be the confident quarterback from early last season. His passes were crisp, his decision-making precise. Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Forcier was beginning to see the entire field in a new way, opening up new possibilities.

But Rodriguez also said that as impressive as Forcier was, all three of his quarterbacks have a lot of room to grow before they reach their full potential.

"They've gotten a whole lot better, but you're talking about first- and second-year players," Rodriguez said. "When you're in a system three or four years and things become so much more natural for you and quicker for you in your decision-making, it's really going to be exciting."

Forcier received a warm reception from Saturday's crowd of 109,933, both when he entered the game and when he left.

Although receiver Roy Roundtree said it felt like Forcier was the same player he was last season, when he started all 12 games as a true freshman, others noticed a difference.

"His focus is better," Michigan quarterbacks coach Rod Smith said. "His attention to detail is better. He just has to keep doing what he's doing. I know it means a lot to the kid and you could tell that by the way he performed tonight."

Asked if he felt rusty, Forcier said he didn't. He said the game had slowed down for him and "it was easy for me out there."

With starting quarterback Denard Robinson's knee injury not expected to be serious, Forcier said he's fine with his place in the rotation. Given the way the Wolverines' offense is centered around the quarterback, Forcier -- who battled his own injuries throughout his freshman year -- said he will continue to be ready in coming weeks.

"You never know when your number is going to be called. The Big Ten is a big conference, a rough conference, and it starts up next week," Forcier said. "You have to be prepared.

"Coach Rod is the coach and I'm going to let him make the decision and if they decide to go with (Robinson) and play with him, I'll be right there, ready."

Jeff Arnold covers sports for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.



Sat, Sep 25, 2010 : 6:21 p.m.

I was glad to see Tate see ction and perform well. He was limping when he went out but I doubt it's serious or else they would've mentioned it in this article. In an offense like this one where the QB is in harm's way on a regular basis due to all the QB runs, it's important to have the backup QBs ready to play and seeing some action so there is not a total dropoff when they come in.

Sean T.

Sat, Sep 25, 2010 : 6:12 p.m.

I agree with you Ann English.

Ann English

Sat, Sep 25, 2010 : 5:59 p.m.

I've heard that being a sophomore, Tate Forcier doesn't play quarterback taking as many risks of getting injured as freshmen quarterbacks may. It is more important for the quarterback position to pass the ball well than to carry it into the end zone.


Sat, Sep 25, 2010 : 5:57 p.m.

Quarterback depth... Who would've thought? Eventually Gardner will be the man. He can do it all and has the size to go with it. Plus, growing up in Michigan the weather won't be a problem. But it sure is nice to have a gamer like Tate ready to go at any time.

Sean T.

Sat, Sep 25, 2010 : 5:48 p.m.

I'm very happy to see another win and to see Tate on the field. NO need to assess the defense because it's already been said. We could have lost Denard today and it was scary and we were truly lucky to play a team not in our league talent wise. I think UCONN heard us calling them overrated and went out to prove us wrong and Temple has a pretty good team.......just ask Penn State!