Nittany Lion quarterback Michael Robinson and Co. feel they have something to prove in their Orange…
Back at quarterback, the athletic Robinson has made the most of his senior season, leasing PSU to a 10-1 record, Big Ten title and Orange Bowl berth opposite Florida State. The multifaceted threat is responsible for 42 touchdowns this season and the 2,883 multipurpose yards he has accumulated is a school record.
Not bad for a guy whose future at this time last year was murky, at best. It wasn't until after spring practice that Paterno elected to return Robinson to his natural position instead of going with a pair of more dropback-oriented options.
"He has not gotten quite the credit he should get because he literally has carried this football team," Paterno said. "He's made some great drives for us and he's a heck of a player."
Robinson, fifth-year senior from Richmond, has 28 career starts to his credit, including six at tailback and five at wide receiver. His versatility has aggravated opposing defenses all season and will pose a formidable challenge for a Florida State defense that has struggled with mobile quarterbacks in recent seasons.
"He's an exciting player and if you don't contain him, he can hurt you," FSU strong safety Kyler Hall said. "He's tough and he's definitely a threat and a challenge for us."
Hall and company have had mixed results with scrambling quarterbacks this season. The Seminoles were burned by Virginia quarterback Marques Hagans in a 26-21 loss on Oct. 15. Though Hagans netted negative rushing yards because of sacks, the extra dimension on roll-outs and busted plays allowed him to throw for 306 yards and UVA's two touchdowns in the upset.
On the flip side, the Seminoles blanketed Virginia Tech's Marcus Vick their last time out, a 27-22 victory in the ACC Championship game.
Hall says facing Vick before Robinson "definitely couldn't hurt" but he does see one big difference – Robinson could be the better ballcarrier.
"When he runs the ball, he's not going to slide too often. He tries to run you over or tries to shake you. Definitely going into that game, we (have) to stop him and force him in third and long, which we're pretty good with this defense."
Robinson hasn't spoken publicly leading up to the Orange Bowl, but that hasn't stopped teammates like tight end Isaac Smolko from singin his praises.
"You never know what he's going to do," Smolko said. "He's a good guy to have on your side."
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