October 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Terry Foster

U-M in good shape despite setbacks

Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier went 8-for-19 for 94 yards and had two of the team's five turnovers -- an interception and this fumble. (John T. Greilick/The Detroit News)

A big question in Ann Arbor today is whether Michigan will allow quarterback Tate Forcier to speak to the media and answer questions on not playing the final two series in a 30-28 loss to Iowa on Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium.

ABC reported Forcier got into an argument with head coach Rich Rodriguez late in the game. It's also believed he injured his right throwing hand although Wolverine officials denied those reports after the game.

ABC sideline reporter Lisa Salters said Forcier screamed to Rodriguez, "I don't know what you want me to do." Rodriguez appeared angry with Forcier's decision making in the previous series. But Rodriguez said the discussion was just "coaching."

Heat of the moment

Lions quarterback Jon Kitna always said the media should not take to heart what's said in the heat of a game on the sidelines. He said there are heated arguments every game during college and NFL games.

"Words? There were no words," Rodriguez said. "Are we already going to try to create something that's not there? We were coaching. I don't know where that comes from."

It appears as if Forcier remains the starting quarterback heading into this Saturday's non-conference game against Delaware State, although backup Denard Robinson played the final two series. Robinson sliced Iowa's lead to two points late but threw an interception ending the Wolverines' final hope.

Rodriguez was in a tough situation. He needed instant offense that Forcier could provide because of his better passing arm. However, Robinson had just directed a touchdown drive moments earlier. If he had yanked Robinson, it might have ruined his confidence.

On the flip side, Forcier had directed last-minute drives in victories over Notre Dame and Indiana, and to send the Michigan State game into overtime.

Forcier, however, was unfocused and tossing too many balls up in the air for grabs.

Plenty to play for

It was a loss, but there was a moral victory for Michigan's offense. U-M scored three rushing touchdowns against Iowa, becoming the first team to do so this season. Brandon Minor rushed for two scores and Robinson scored from three yards on the next-to-last drive.

Here's the bright side. Michigan reached the halfway point of the season 4-2, one more victory than all of last season when the Wolverines finished 3-9. The Wolverines appear to be headed to a bowl. Assuming a victory against Delaware State this weekend, Michigan needs one or two victories the rest of the way to earn a bowl bid.

Two of their tougher games -- Penn State and Ohio State -- are at home. A game at Wisconsin could be a swing game. The more winnable games are at Illinois and at home against Purdue.

"We're still not out of it," Brandon Graham said. "We can win out. We just showed we are going to keep fighting so you had better keep coming."

terry.foster@detnews.com">terry.foster@detnews.com (313) 222-1494

See Also
More Terry Foster