LINCOLN — The true freshman hasn’t played since Nebraska’s road loss at Purdue and his status for the Heroes Game Friday is still uncertain.
Wan’Dale Robinson has been the Huskers’ workhorse, carrying and catching the ball out of the backfield for the offense. However, the hits his 190-pound body has endured throughout the season has taken a toll and he hasn’t played at 100 percent for quite some time.
Still, the Kentucky native continues to show heart and if healthy enough, wants to do everything in his will to help the team win.
“I expect to have how many ever touches they need me to have,” Robinson said. “I expect anything they need me to do I’m going to do, no matter what the circumstances are.”
The Huskers’ backs are against the wall and their post season fate lies in the hands of the Hawkeyes, a team they’ve lost four-straight to in the heated rivalry. It’s going to be a tough task considering Iowa’s stout defense has been one of the best in the Big Ten if not all of College Football.
Scott Frost will need to put together a great game plan offensively and the team has gained some confidence after a 54-7 thumping of Maryland on the road last Saturday. Nebraska needs to carry that momentum into Friday afternoon’s game and the Sea of Red should be rocking for this Big Ten West divisional finale.
There has been a few distractions for the Huskers over the past month with players leaving the program and the transition of adjusting to the culture Frost is trying to establish. Even Robinson admitted to having to cut the grass so he could see the snakes.
“There’s still some guys on the team that aren’t bought all in with our mentality that Coach Frost is wanting our team to have for years to come and we have to start that now,” he said. “So just getting that mentality and trying to preach that to the other guys.”
Although Robinson is very young and raw, he carries himself like a seasoned veteran after getting thrown to the wolves in game one. He’s not afraid to get into the faces of the upperclassmen to make sure everyone is on the same page either, thanks to his work ethic and instant experience.
“It helped me coming in early, so I was already pretty cool with the guys, so they already respected me enough and I proved myself in practice,” Robinson said. “If I say something hopefully they’ll take it into consideration and I’m hoping my actions show too.”
After missing out on the post season for two-straight years Nebraska needs the win over Iowa more than ever before, making it the biggest game of year for Frost’s team. A win Friday will go far for Nebraska in terms of direction of the program, coaching stability and most importantly recruiting.
As for Robinson, just being able to see the field will do wonders for the team and will provide the Hawkeyes’ defense with another aspect to focus on. Regardless of his status Robinson expects the Huskers to be ready.
“We should have a lot of confidence, guys are getting back healthier,” he said. “Just being able to bring everything together, being able to have the fundamentals and then throwing in the wrinkles that we have.”