Michigan Wolverines Football

Tate Forcier Is Still a True Freshman, Rich Rodriguez

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines talks with quarterback Tate Forcier #5 during the game with the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Adam BoutonCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2009

Every college football coach expects the best out of his players. Michigan head man Rich Rodriguez is no exception.

But what Rodriguez did Saturday night was no excuse.

Rodriguez was seen, on national television nonetheless, yelling and screaming at freshman quarterback Tate Forcier throughout the game after Forcier had arguably his worst outing of the 2009 season.

Forcier threw for just 94 yards on eight-of-19 passing with no touchdowns and one interception. He was stifled by an Iowa defense that is considered as one of the top in the country.

Still, it's just his sixth game under center for Michigan.

The freshman from San Diego, Calif. was eventually benched in favor of fellow freshman quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson pulled the Wolverines to within two points when he scampered across the goal line late in the game. He also, however, threw an interception with less than a minute to play that ultimately ended the game.

Regardless of the outcome, was Rodriguez justified in yanking Forcier and what does this do for the future between the two?

In short, he wasn't justified.

It may have been a little different had this occurred two years from now, even one year, when Forcier had a little more experience under his belt and expectations are a little higher.

Forcier isn't the type of person who is rattled easily. He has said many times before that he is a person that has never got nervous before big games. This is true even though he's a freshman. However, Rodriguez was very wrong to berate his young star quarterback.

In a game of that magnitude and in front of a national audience, Rodriguez looked like someone desperate for a win and he may have lost control. Everyone looks to the head coach for stability and Rodriguez lost that on Saturday.

Even though the Maize and Blue almost fought their way back to a victory, it doesn't soften the blow for Forcier, Rodriguez and the rest of the team this week.

Hopefully for Forcier's sake, Rodriguez comes out this week and tells him he's sorry. That would go a long way in helping repair whatever riff there is between the two after Saturday's defeat.

Above all else, Forcier is a freshman.

Rodriguez must realize this.

He has been terrific in his first season as signal caller for Michigan, but he is still a young pup that is going to suffer through the growing pains all freshman go through.

What Rodriguez did Saturday was wrong and hopefully what he did doesn't damage anything between the upstart quarterback from Southern California and the head coach.

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