Michigan-Bowling Green: Can We Trust Tate Forcier at Quarterback Once More?
This Saturday against Bowling Green, No. 21 Michigan scored a whopping 65 points, going 23-for-26 in passing and throwing for 255 yards, including two rushing touchdowns. The rushing offense scored seven touchdowns and ran for a total of 466 yards. When combined with passing, this was the Wolverines' second best offensive performance in history.
And to top it all off, Michigan accomplished most of it without star quarterback Denard Robinson.
"Shoelace" Robinson did get the Wolverines going scoring two early rushing touchdowns in the first quarter to put Big Blue up 14-0. However, Robinson took a scary hit afterwards, landing hard on his left knee. He was slow to get up, and didn't play for the rest of the afternoon. With Michigan's starter down, many wondered who head coach Rich Rodriguez would put in to run the spead offense.
Lo and behold, Tate Forcier, last year's starter, jogged onto to the field at the Big House and started calling plays.
Forcier had an admirable performance subbing for the beleaguered Robinson, going 12-for-12, throwing for 110 yards, including a touchdown. Forcier got the running game going as well, with rushing TDs coming from Michael Shaw, Vincent Smith, and Fitzgerald Toussaint (Forcier's TD pass was a two-yard toss to John McColgan).
True freshman Devin Gardner saw some action as well, especially in the fourth quarter, when Forcier was also stricken with a knee injury. However, it was Forcier who would see most of the action.
What does this mean for the Michigan offense? For one thing, we now know that Robinson had been cleared to play if necessary at halftime, so it appears safe to assume Robinson will be back as starter next week in the Big Ten opener against Indiana. In addition, it now seems that Forcier has been promoted to No. 2 on the depth chart, although we don't for sure.
With Forcier returning to form, Coach Rodriguez might have a stable backup for now, as Forcier seems to have matured as a QB and learned to balance his game. While Gardner may very well be an excellent quarterback, I think it's best to let him gain practice time and knowledge of the offense.
As of this writing, there is no official word on Forcier's injury. However, it appeared minor as he continued to walk around on the sideline and stay on his feet.
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