In case you haven't heard, Tate Forcier is simply A-MAIZE-ING!
This is a true freshman that looks more like an upperclassman with his ability to stay cool under pressure, and to step up and make the big play.
This was a much different game than we saw in week one, where the Wolverines were up against Western Michigan. This time it was on the national stage, against a bitter rival who was also nationally ranked.
No. 18 Notre Dame came into the Big House with much hype. Many predicted that the Irish would have a spectacular season this year, and heck, they still might. But Michigan did everything in their power to send them away with a different point of view.
In my week one article I predicted that this game would restore the rivalry to the attention getting status that the match-up used to garner. The clash in Ann Arbor this past Saturday did not disappoint.
It was quite possibly the best matchup between the two in a long, long time, if not in the history of the rivalry. It was an instant classic!
Michigan jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter after a two-yard run by Brandon Minor and a 94-yard kickoff return by sophomore wide receiver Darryl Stonum.
The second quarter was all Irish; as ND put 17 more points on the board and the Wolverines could only answer with a field goal. The Michigan secondary was taught a few things by the Notre Dame WR tandem, Golden Tate and Michael Floyd.
Notre Dame led at the half 20-17.
Three quarters of the way through the game it looked as though the fellas in the winged helmets had figured something out. The Michigan defense dominated the third quarter, holding the Irish scoreless.
Tate, "a Forcier to be reckoned with", made a connection with freakish TE Kevin Koger on a three yard TD pass, which stood as the only score that quarter.
In the fourth quarter the battle for the ages continued.
Both teams posted 14 points each but some questionable calls by the ND coaching staff and solid play under pressure by the freshman phenom, Tate "let the Forcier be with you" gave the Wolverines the edge.
Tate "Air" Forcier scampered for a 31 yard touchdown scramble early in the final quarter to amp up the already electric crowd.
With around four minutes to go in the game and the ball in Michigan territory, the Irish decided to pass the ball on second and third down.
Now I'm no offensive coordinator, but I know that with the lead late in a game, you want to run the clock down. Charlie Weis said he was trying to win the game. Umm sir...you were winning. To win, you keep the ball from the other team.
Two minutes left and a freshman QB at the helm. Oh boy! This kid drove the field cool, calm, and collective, showing no signs of stress or nervousness before throwing a pass in the end-zone that was...dropped!
Even this did not bother the kid. He comes back with nearly an identical play and hits Matthews (a catch this time) who walks into the end zone with 11 seconds left, pretty much sealing the deal.
And the band plays...HAIL...TO THE VICTORS VALIANT...the crowd explodes, the Michigan sideline erodes onto the field, and the Big House is officially BANANAS!
Michigan has been restored to the national rank at No. 25, and things are feeling right again for a change.
Now the Wolverines have two games against seemingly lesser opponents but they must not overlook either one as they face Eastern Michigan and Indiana in weeks three and four.
Game Ball Goes To: Tate Forcier (with an assist to Charlie Weis) 23-33 240 Yds., 2TD 1 rushing TD
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