Wolverines head coach Rich Rodriguez said Monday that Tate Forcier still had a headache from the concussion, sustained in Saturday's 30-28 loss to Iowa. Rodriguez wasn't aware of the concussion until after the game, and Forcier's health didn't factor into the decision to play Denard Robinson down the stretch against the Hawkeyes.For the record, I don't believe Rodriguez that it had no bearing on his decision to play Robinson -- I think he's just trying to avoid throwing Robinson under the bus by making it sound like putting him on the field was the only choice.
I actually heard from someone last night who was on the sideline and said Forcier looked really out of it after the next-to-last drive, either from complete confusion (doubtful) or getting knocked woozy (more likely). I wasn't sure how much stock to put into that at the time, but I guess it all makes sense now. Whether RichRod knew he had a concussion or not, that nobody's-home-behind-the-eyes look is usually pretty obvious. He knew something was wrong.
I retract my previous criticism.
Fortunately for UM, it sounds like it was a very minor concussion: Rodriguez said Forcier will start Saturday against Delaware State if he's healthy. There's some debate on the message boards as to whether he should sit out even if he is completely recovered -- the general sentiment is that a functional bye week offers Robinson the chance to get some work and Forcier a chance to rest -- but I don't agree.
If he's still showing symptoms, he should obviously sit. There's no debate about that. But keep in mind that Forcier has played a total of six career games, and he barely participated in one of those (Eastern Michigan) due to Michigan racking up about 5,000 rushing yards. Robinson needs snaps, but Forcier needs them too -- again, he's the starter, and with Penn State coming up in two weeks, I don't want him rusty. Get him in the game early and give him a few drives (hopefully successful ones) to get in rhythm and regain some confidence, and if Michigan can build an early two- or three-score lead, then you pull him and let Robinson develop.
But you have to win the game first -- after Appalachian State, nothing is taken for granted -- and you have to remember that developing your starter is more important than developing your backup.