Indiana Mr. Football and state champion runner-up as a senior at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, Tre Roberson has had his fair share of good games and gaudy statistics. The dual-threat quarterback was expected to rack up some serious statistics at Indiana, too.
But even he didn't see this game coming.
Roberson tied a 70-year old school record by throwing six touchdowns in Indiana's 56-36 win over Purdue Saturday. The Sophomore quarterback was 25-of-37 for 273 yards through the air and added 154 yards on the ground.
"Yea, it was amazing," Roberson said of tossing six TD passes. "But it was a total team effort. The offensive line blocked really well and the skill guys caught the ball and made the plays."
Following normal protocol, Roberson did not find out he was the starter until earlier in the day. But unlike Indiana's other games, in which the Hoosiers rotated between he and fellow sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld, Roberson played almost the entire game.
He said he knew he was staying in for the long haul as early as Indiana's first drive.
"Oh yea, this is definitely one of my better games," Roberson said. "I just had it going. Offensive skill guys were making plays, offensive line was blocking and everybody was playing pretty well."
To say Roberson "had it going" against the Boilermakers would be an understatement. His 427 total yards were a career-high, as was his 154 yards rushing. The record-tying six touchdown passes put Roberson in the same company as Bob Hoernschemeyer, who did it against Nebraska in 1943.
Or think about it this way: The United States had been at war with Nazi Germany for less than a year the last time an IU quarterback threw six touchdowns in a game.
"He's just doing what he's capable of doing," senior wide receiver Kofi Hughes said. "That's Tre. He's always been a playmaker and the offense that we went with today allowed him to use his feet as well, and he played outstanding."
The offense Hughes was referring to the increased number of read-option and quarterback keepers Indiana ran on offense against Purdue. Roberson said the play-calling reminded him of his high school playing days.
Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said he started Roberson because he thought Indiana needed to run the ball well against Purdue and therefore needed to take advantage of Roberson's ability in space.
Mission accomplished. Indiana ran for 401 yards on 54 carries, good for 7.4 yards per carry.
Roberson knows he's not invincible, though. He said he expects to be sore tomorrow after taking so many hits in the run game.
"Over the long run right now I don't think Roberson's body can hold up if he plays that kind of game every week," Wilson said. "As we head into Tre's offseason, we will be talking more about how to get better about his health."
Wilson noted that Roberson dropped to 160 pounds while he was rehabbing from a broken leg suffered in the first game of the 2011 season. Roberson said that he wasn't able to go all out during every offseason workout because of his recently-healed leg.
This offseason will be devoted to making sure he can have more games like this next year.
"Definitely getting bigger, trying to gain a couple more pounds and just getting to where I can handle this kind of game every week," Roberson said.