August 10, 2022

Bijan Robinson solidifying that he’s Heisman worthy

Texas Longhorns Football

Photo courtesy of the Alamo Bowl

He came into this season with the most hype of any Texas running back since Ricky Williams’ senior campaign.

And rightfully so. Bijan Robinson showed a lot of promise in 2020 as a true freshman, and he’s not suffering from a sophomore slump either. Despite having a bullseye on his jersey, and being the focal point of the Longhorns’ offense every game, he’s handling all of the pressure like it’s nothing.

Texas has a new coach on the sidelines and a new quarterback behind center this fall, but it’s been a smooth transition for the offense with Robinson in the backfield. After all, the former-five star prospect is flat-out dynamic, and a mismatch for most defenders out in the open field.

With a rare blend of speed and quickness, to go along with some soft hands, he’s arguably one of College Football’s top offensive weapons. The Arizona native is coming off a monster performance in last Saturday’s win over TCU. It was a career day for Robinson, with 30 carries, 216 yards on the ground and two rushing scores.

The six-foot, 214-pound Robinson has been a machine over the Longhorns last seven games, with 1,007 rushing yards, plus he scored 15 total touchdowns during that span. Texas (4-1) is averaging 265.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks first in the Big 12 and fifth in the FBS. The Longhorns’ have 17 rushing scores, which is first in the league also and Robinson has contributed a lot in that production.

The true sophomore is peaking at the perfect time, with the Red River Rivalry renewing this Saturday. The ESPN College Gameday crew will be in Dallas for the top-25 clash, and that’ll provide Robinson with the ultimate spotlight. It’s also one of the best rivalries in the sport and a big reason why blue chippers come to both programs.

Robinson will have an opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the country, with all eyes on the matchup. The Longhorns know they have to bring their best against the Sooners, and this could very well be Robinson’s coming-out party.

Emotions will be high though, considering Oklahoma (5-0) has won five of the last six meetings, including three-straight. The sixth-ranked Sooners have been dominant against the run this season. Oklahoma is allowing a mere 79.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks first in the Big 12 and seventh in the FBS.

It’s going to be strength against strength and something has to give. In hindsight, the Sooners are going to try and load the box to stop the run and force Casey Thompson to beat them with his arm. However, that’s when Robinson is at his deadliest, catching passes out of the backfield.

Steve Sarkisian will have a couple of wrinkles and new formations he’ll show against Oklahoma. Robinson will get his touches in several ways, including handoffs, catching screen passes, jet sweeps and he might even line up in the wildcat formation behind center.

A win Saturday will put the 21st-ranked Longhorns back into the Playoff race, and if Robinson picks up where he left off against the Horned Frogs, he’ll be in the Heisman discussion, and likely the favorite.