The Driving Forcier Behind Michigan's Football Revival

Russell IvanacSenior Analyst ISeptember 23, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 12:  Quarterback Tate Forcier #5 and Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez give high-fives as they leave the field after beating Notre Dame 38-34 at Michigan Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

Let's go back to September 13th 2008, a day most Michigan fans would gladly forget. It was the third game under new head coach Rich Rodriguez, and all was not well in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines left a campus full of hopeful fans heartbroken yet again as they fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 35-17 in South Bend, giving the Wolverines their second loss on the season. Little did they know how it would be a precursor of things to come.

The Wolverine faithful endured loss after loss, with each one seemingly more painful than the last. A 13-10 loss at home to Toledo was followed by a blowout loss to Penn State 46-17 where the Wolverines lead 17-14 at halftime. Of the remaining losses, those to Michigan State (35-21 in Ann Arbor) and to Ohio State (42-7) probably had the most impact on the fans. After a 3-9 start to Rich Rodriguez's career at Michigan, hope for the future was all that fans could hold on to.

Apparently "hope" is Tate Forcier's middle name.

Fresh off of snapping a 33 consecutive bowl game streak and a scandal that brought Michigan's decision to hire Rodriguez into question again, the Wolverines were staring down a monumental uphill climb back to their prominence of yesterday. Leading the charge would be a recruiting class that was brought in for one purpose, run the team Rich-Rod's way.

The recruiting class was headlined by San Diego native Tate Forcier, a dual-threat quarterback who wasted no time getting to work by enrolling early during the Winter 2009 semester. It took little time for Forcier to grab the reins of the offense and by all indications, he won't be letting them go anytime soon.

Through three games Forcier has thrown for 5 touchdowns and 487 yards while rushing for 1 touchdown and 112 yards. To put that into perspective, Heisman trophy front-runner Tim Tebow has thrown for 5 touchdowns and 540 yards while rushing for three touchdowns and 148 yards through the same amount of games this year.

Forcier has undoubtedly lead Michigan in its road back to legitimacy, and now he must continue to do so as the currently ranked #23 Michigan Wolverines (3-0) continue their uphill climb. It would be a daunting task for any individual to do what Forcier is doing, let alone a true freshman, but Forcier displays the skills and confidence needed to do the job.

So when all is said and done this season, how will Forcier emerge? How will he handle the pressure?

"I don't get nervous"

Well put Tate, well put.