Zac Robinson: A Frustrating Season

Zac Robinson has been the consummate leader during his five-year career with the Oklahoma State Cowboys. But the 23-year-old's senior season didn't go nearly the way he expected when fall drills began in August. Robinson shared some of what he was thinking after his season came to a close with Saturday's Cotton Bowl loss to Ole Miss.

Here are some numbers that show just how much All-America receiver Dez Bryant meant to Robinson and the Cowboys the past two seasons.

Robinson completed 247 of 387 passes for 3,666 yards and 30 touchdowns in his last 16 games with Bryant on the field (the 2008 season and the three games he played this past season). Bryant caught 104 of Robinson's passes for 1,803 yards and 23 touchdowns. Thus, Robinson averaged 229.1 passing yards and nearly two touchdown passes per game with Bryant on the field.

The All-American receiver caught 42 percent of Robinson's completions in those 16 games, and he accounted for 49 percent of his passing yards, and 77 percent of his TD passes.

In nine games this season without the suspended Bryant, the OSU quarterback completed 137 of 228 passes for 1,482 yards (164.7 yards per game) and 10 touchdowns (or just one per game).

Robinson answered several questions following the Cotton Bowl about the lack of having a playmaker like Bryant on the field for the last half of the 2009 and his struggles this season despite playing through numerous injuries.

Question: Does not having playmakers like Dez Bryant really come to the forefront in games against really good teams with outstanding players like Mississippi?
Robinson: Yeah, I think so. I think our inexperience at wide receiver and playing against really good teams, it kind of shows a little bit. I'm still really proud of those guys and how they played. They played hard all year. There's no question that when you play a really top defense like we have against OU and (against Mississippi), you definitely miss your big-play guys.

Question: Were you healthy the past month? If so, did you just play poorly the last two games?
Robinson: It's probably a mixture of both. I haven't health-wise been where I would like (to be), but that's just the way it is. There's no more time to get ready. The OU game was a quick turnaround and then I got quite a bit time off (before the Cotton Bowl) but I still wasn't where I wanted to be. But I was good enough to play. I think a lot of it was the talent we were playing against. We just couldn't make any plays in either game, and it was kind of a struggle.

Question: Do you feel like you kind of got cheated out of your senior season with everything that happened?
Robinson: It's upsetting but I'm always going to remember it as my career as a whole. It's frustrating going through the injuries (this season). I really hadn't had any injury my whole career and so it was tough. I just tried to push through it and try to get back as quick as I could at whatever percent I was to play. The last couple of games we just couldn't move the ball and I think it was just a combination of everything. We just couldn't execute for whatever reason. Football is a team sport and you've got to have everybody out there executing, and we couldn't do that.

Question: What were you thinking in the moments after the interception into the end zone when you thought you had a free play because Ole Miss had jumped off sides?
Robinson: I threw it (into the end zone) because I thought our receiver was going to keep going. We usually just run a vertical, and he stopped and they picked it off. But I thought, it's all right because we'll get the five yards (from the off-sides penalty) and we'll move on. So I didn't even think there wasn't a five-yard penalty. So when I saw they were calling a touchback, and they were going to put Ole Miss back there … then they reviewed it. I was so confident, and (Andrew) Lewis was so confident because he makes good decisions all the time… I know (the Ole Miss lineman) was right on me when I caught the snap, so we'll get this and move on. We had some momentum there with Kendall's good run right before that. That just kind of deflated us after that. Everybody was so frustrated that we didn't get it. Everybody was kind of like, how is that possible (that they didn't see the off-sides penalty)? It took us a while to comprehend that we really weren't going to get the ball and the extra five yards, and they were giving it to them.

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