Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons' short kick goes wide for a missed field goal against Notre Dame earlier this month. (Daniel Mears/The Detroit News)
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said he has entertained an "interesting gamut" of walk-ons interested in kicking for the Wolverines.
Rodriguez, addressing the media Wednesday, said he still does not know who will handle the kicking Saturday when Michigan plays Bowling Green at Michigan Stadium.
The Wolverines are 1-of-5 on field-goal attempts this season. Brendan Gibbons has attempted four, Seth Broekhuizen one.
"We're going to do some competitive stuff in practice, but the issue of kicking in practice hasn't been so much (the issue) as doing it in the game," Rodriguez said. "But at this moment. I couldn't tell you who would be the first guy to kick field goals, extra points or kickoffs right now."
Justin Meram, a soccer player who was working with the football kickers, now is focusing on soccer, and Rodriguez said they have talked to him about a fifth year of eligibility and returning to football in the spring.
Rodriguez said several students have been at practice and are attempting to make the team as kickers. Before Rodriguez's weekly news conference Monday, he said he was approached in the parking lot by a student who inquired about the kicking job.
"We have to check on the grades and check on the physicals," Rodriguez said, laughing at the situation. "One youngster showed up (Tuesday), but he was actually in graduate school so his eligibility has exhausted.
"We've got the whole gamut of interesting inquiries into that. The guy from the parking lot has not been cleared yet so I don't know if he hasn't gotten his physical yet or if there's an issue with his eligibility. We check all that out so we're not wasting everybody's time. Quite a few have shown up. It's been interesting."
There have been students trying out daily, Rodriguez said.
"I guess the word got out," he said, laughing. "The other ones have done OK, but in our judgment, Brendan and Seth have been the better of the group. When we do the competitive things in practice before and during, sometimes all of them get a chance. We're taking a look at everybody and all options."
Gibbons and Broekhuizen continue to be the standouts in practice.
"I know there's no question in our mind they can do it," Rodriguez said. "Sometimes it's a matter of being able to concentrate on it and focus. I think they'll do it. They'll do it in a game, and whoever does it will take charge and will be really good going forward."
Rodriguez appeared on Colin Cowherd's ESPN radio show, which originated from Michigan's campus Wednesday, and spoke highly of sophomore quarterback Tate Forcier.
Forcier started every game last season but has been on the bench this year. During the opener, much was made during the television broadcast about Forcier sitting alone on the bench with a towel over his shoulders during the final minutes of the game.
"I think Tate learned a lesson in that first game," Rodriguez told Cowherd. "He's been terrific the last couple weeks. He's been a team guy. He knows what his role is going to be. He's going to keep competing for that spot. He'll be fine. I've been really proud the way he's approached everything the last couple weeks."
The starting job at left tackle also is up in the air.
Mark Huyge, who has started the first three games, is being challenged by redshirt freshman Taylor Lewan. Lewan tweaked an ankle in practice and was expected to be limited Wednesday, Rodriguez said, but was expected to be full-go today.
"We'll probably rotate those guys and probably do the same during the game," he said.
... Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson now is on the Paul Hornung Award watch list. The award recognizes versatile players.
Linebacker Brendan Herron (ankle) should be able to play Saturday, Rodriguez said, but hybrid Carvin Johnson (knee) likely won't be able to return until the Big Ten opener at Indiana next week.
... Tailback Fitz Toussaint (knee) was not 100 percent last week and Rodriguez said he wasn't ready to play.
"He is doing more this week and should be ready to go," Rodriguez said.
A look at where Robinson, the Michigan quarterback, ranks three games into the season:
Rushing -- 186.33 average, 1st in Big Ten, 1st in NCAA
Total offense -- 410.0 avg., 1st in Big Ten, 1st in NCAA
Passing efficiency -- 158.64 avg., 4th in Big Ten, 19th in NCAA
Scoring -- 8.0 avg., T4th in Big Ten, T61st in NCAA
All-purpose -- 186.33 avg., 1st in Big Ten, 7th in NCAA
Passing -- 223.6 avg., 5th in Big Ten, 42nd in NCAA
Because of Robinson's performance, the Wolverines' offense has been among the nation's best:
Scoring offense -- 33.3 avg., 4th in Big Ten, 37th in NCAA
Total offense -- 510.0 avg., 1st in Big Ten, 10th in NCAA
Rushing offense -- 286.33 avg., 1st in Big Ten, 6th in NCAA
Passing offense -- 223.67 avg., 5th in Big Ten, 55th in NCAA
First downs -- 72 total, 1st in Big Ten, 15th in NCAA
Red-zone offense -- 90.9 percent, 2nd in Big Ten, T29th in NCAA
By the numbers
2 -- This will be Michigan's second meeting with Bowling Green
6 -- Turnovers the Wolverines have forced this season (including four interceptions)
40 -- Left guard Stephen Schilling's career starts after Saturday
He said it
"I don't think it was overly gutsy, because we were having trouble stopping them anyway, so I thought, 'What the heck? We might as well try to get the first down and try to end it.' " -- Rodriguez, on a "clutch" call in the 2006 Sugar Bowl game when West Virginia beat Georgia, 38-35. Rodriguez called a fake punt to get the first down toward the end of the game.
Bowling Green at Michigan
Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
TV/radio: ESPN2/WOMC 104.3, WTKA 1050
Records: Bowling Green 1-2, Michigan 3-0
Series: Michigan 1-0 (42-7 in 2000)
Line: Michigan by 25 1/2