Coach 'Rod' earns a win

Tough week ends well

The Associated PressSeptember 6, 2009 

— Rich Rodriguez refused to make it about him.

Tate Forcier threw three touchdown passes and Denard Robinson ran for a score before halftime, leading the Wolverines to a 31-7 win over Western Michigan and leaving reporters trying to get Rodriguez to say what the much-needed victory meant personally.

"It was a nice win for Michigan," Rodriguez said with a grin. "Maybe I'll sleep two hours tonight."

The Wolverines insisted they were focused on Western Michigan - and not distracted by a report alleging they have broken NCAA rules under Rodriguez because of the time they've spent training and practicing and stories about a real estate deal gone bad involving the coach and a booster banned from Clemson.

"I don't know if the situation galvanized them even more," Rodriguez said. "I thought they were pretty tight to begin with.

"They were going to be hungry to play based on what they've heard in the last nine months."

With Michigan coming off a school-record nine losses, Rodriguez's freshmen quarterbacks helped the Wolverines (1-0) look better on offense than they ever did last year in his debut season with college football's winningest program.

Forcier was 13-of-20 for 179 yards, and two of his three TD passes went to Junior Hemingway. Chad Henne and Rick Leach are the only freshmen QBs to start an opener for the Wolverines in three-plus decades.

"I don't get nervous," Forcier said. "Never have, and I don't think I ever will."

Robinson - whose nickname is "Shoelace" because he doesn't tie his laces - juked a couple defenders on a 43-yard TD run.

"Robinson's a pretty good track star," Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit said. "The other kid threw the ball well. I'm sure Rich Rodriguez is pretty pleased with both of them."

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