MANHATTAN, Kan. — Texas’ All-American running back put together his best outing of the year in the 34-27 road victory over Kansas State.
Bijan Robinson looked like a man among boys the way he left Wildcat defenders in the dust. He carried the ball 30 times for 209 yards, which were both season-highs and his second-best as a Longhorn. Not only was it Robinson’s seventh-straight game of eclipsing the century mark in rushing yards, it was also the 16th of his career.
And the Longhorns tend to do well whenever Robinson accomplishes that feat. So much so, that Texas is 13-3 when the Arizona native rushes for 100 or more yards. Kansas State found that out the hard way. Robinson took the pigskin 36 yards to the house on the Longhorns’ opening drive. He was pretty much a shark that smelled blood in the water after that.
Robinson made defenders miss, bulldozed over others, and averaged seven yards per carry. The Wildcats tried to load up the box with defenders to slow down the Longhorns’ rushing attack, but it did very little to help.
“In the second half they brought up some safeties and they understood that we’re going to run the ball,” Robinson said. “But, in the first half we had the play called and we understood that whatever we were going to do it was probably going to work.”
Kansas State’s Coach Chris Klieman looked frustrated on the sidelines as he watched his defense take poor tackling angles and execution. Texas racked up 269 rushing yards on Kansas State’s defense, which was the most it has allowed all season. Klieman made adjustments, but quarterback Quinn Ewers burned the defense when the unit tried to come too close to the line of scrimmage.
“We struggled to get stops, we couldn’t tackle,” Klieman said. “Bijan Robinson, he is a terrific back and then when we tried to put too many guys up there.”
Robinson basically solidified why he’s going to be the first running back selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. His rare blend of speed, power and elusiveness is what the scouts crave. The former five-star prospect has been consistent enough to keep his name in the Heisman conversation too.
After all, Robinson leads the Big 12 in rushing yards, and is fifth overall in the FBS. The six-foot, 222-pounder is also tied for first in the league with 12 touchdowns on the ground. Robinson is proud of his performance, but understands the big boys up front has played a big role in his success this fall.
The Longhorns played like a team on a mission in Robinson’s eyes, and their goal was to jump into that No. 2 spot in the Big 12 standings.
“We understood that we’re not trying to lose again on the road,” he said. “That’s when we came out as both offense and defense and the defense came in clutch, obviously.”
Texas (6-3) is very much alive in the Big 12 race now. The Longhorns basically control their own destiny, but the remaining slate won’t be easy. A undefeated TCU team looms in week 11, but Robinson feels Texas is battle-tested and ready. The offense has displayed grit and responded to adversity, so the Longhorns are prepared for anything.
At the end of the day Texas is still taking everything one game at a time. Robinson believes the team has a ton of momentum now. And that builds more confidence in the players, especially after pulling out a gutsy win on the road.
“I think it was just the fight that really got us through this one.”