Robinson Bowls Over Outmatched Wildcats

LEXINGTON – Josh Robinson is almost insulted to be asked had he ever done anything, anything remotely comparable. “Go to Youtube, type in ‘JRob’,” he instructed. “You will see that a lot!”

A lot? Certainly we should find many a good Robinson run there. Probably some outstanding rushes. But a carry to compare with what JRob did there in the third quarter to Kentucky? Nah, this one belongs in its own special category…sorta like Robinson himself increasingly does.

Put it this way. In the aftermath of Mississippi State’s 45-31 victory there was more demand for Robinson’s comments than even asked of Heisman Trophy candidate and quarterback Dak Prescott. And it wasn’t just for his 198 rushing yards, or his two touchdowns. No, not even his 73-yard gallop that would have looked fast on nearby Keeneland’s track.

No, the play that will be re-played on every national outlet came in the third quarter. That’s when Robinson took a first-down handoff from Prescott and bolted ahead for a nice gain before running into obstacles. That’s when the fun began.

Robinson ricocheted out to his left while evading two more tacklers and against all coaching both reversed course while going backwards. At one point he was a step from the original line of scrimmage, and had escaped at least seven chances to be put down. Sweeping behind impromptu blocking Robinson turned back upfield and finally went down on the 41-yard line, a gain of 22 yards that covered at least three times that distance.

Spectacular, it was. Surprising, it wasn’t. “That’s just what Josh does,” Prescott said. “He’s a great athlete and that shows it right there, he’s hard to tackle and has a low center of gravity. It’s kind of hard to get lower than him when he’s running the ball.”

Naturally Robinson was able to phrase it far more colorfully. “I mean, you don’t call me Human Bowling Ball for nothing!” he teased reporters. “So I just live up to it best way I can.”

Robinson assuredly bowled the home team over. By the time the last pin, uhh, Wildcat had gone down the Mississippi State back had left his mark on all of them. The stat sheet, too. “I’m just playing my role and doing what I’m called to do,” Robinson said, piously…then reverted to a much more ebullient Bulldog form. Such as when the topic of his total rushing was raised.

Sure, 198 was a personal-best. But it was only one yard better than he had at LSU…and still not the magic 200-yard mark. In fact, “When we was claiming victory I was hollering at Coach Mullen man, give me the ball! I was about to tell Dak to get from under center and I was going to take it right, two yards?”

No kidding, he really did that. “He was yelling at me when we were in the victory formation that he was two yards away,” Mullen related. “I told him he should have got those two yards earlier, he had 59 minutes to get it done!” A better question might have been, how exactly did Robinson know how close he was to 200?

“I saw it on the scoreboard. I wish Mississippi State had it.” Which just about guarantees this will NOT get put on the gynormatrons above Scott Field. Regardless, he does know what 200 yards is like. “Yeah, in high school but not here. I’m trying to get it I could have had it tonight! Maybe I’ll get 199, then 200. I won’t complain. It’s going to come.”

The yardage is coming in great big bunches. In his four SEC games Robinson has netted 599 yards, averaged 9.4 per carry, and scored seven times. That’s just league play; for the season he’s up to 887 yards with ten touchdowns.

And if his helter-skelter rush will make the highlights—“You add all his yardage and he probably had about 475 yards, but that only counted for 22” Mullen quipped--the 73-yard touchdown was still pretty remarkable in its own right. Oh, busting between two Wildcats at the second level put him in the clear but three more defenders had angles to converge. So what does Robinson do, but upon reaching the SEC logo at the 25-yard line he cut sharply back to his left and got to the far corner.

What made him change course, as he didn’t look back or have the videoboard to help him know the posse was just getting within reach? “Oh, I can’t get hauled (pronounced ‘halt’) down no more, man! I got hauled-down at LSU, I think I got hauled down at Auburn, I can’t let that happen no more. I took that in consideration and had to have six.”

Unofficial stat-masters marveled at just how many of Robinson’s yards came after some sort of first contact…and there usually was second and third too without much more effect. Prescott pointed to the body build, the ‘Bowling Ball’ that gives defenders almost nothing to grasp even if they can reach for him. Reach down, that is.

Low-slung, strong, and with a sixth-gear to use out in the clear. The physique explains the physics, to Mullen. “And his rear end is pretty round. And big,” the coach said. “When they call him a Bowling Ball, he is kind of that way. He’s a very strong, powerful guy, and he shows he has open-field speed. But his center of gravity sometimes make it tough to get down.”

Robinson is justly proud of how he can pound the ground, and told a reporter who asked what his squat is “A ton!” Somewhat more seriously, “I’ll say a good seven hundred.” And while speed thrills, it was his pure punch that killed Kentucky.

”That’s where you’re going to make your money, and I’m a short back! I have to use my center of gravity to my advantage.”

An unfair advantage, a bunch of blued-and-blackened Wildcats will likely claim tomorrow when they have to review Robinson’s ramble. As for the man himself? “I don’t really know what’s going on during the game. When I’m watching film that’s when I experience everything and say wow!”

Expect the same wowed response once this is added to JRob's Youtube file.

Gene's Page Top Stories