Penn State Football: The Catch About Allen Robinson’s Breakout Season? ‘He’s Nowhere Near as Good as He is Going to Be’
Allen Robinson is on the verge of a record-setting season, which makes Stan Hixon’s comments about the sophomore wide receiver jump out even more.
“He is nowhere near as good as he is going to be,” said Hixon, Penn State’s first-year wide receivers coach.
Robinson, who leads the Nittany Lions in receptions, yards and touchdowns, can be considered the first breakout star at PSU under Hixon, who has more than 30 years of coaching experience, including previous stops in the NFL with the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills. He said part of the allure of joining Bill O’Brien’s staff was the opportunity to coach at the college level again. At this point, he said, he has no aspirations to return to the NFL, even after some self-reflecting following the NCAA levying heavy sanctions against the program in the summer.
Robinson has publicly pledged allegiance to Penn State despite the NCAA allowing all Penn State players to transfer without penalty until preseason practice. His return in 2013, as well as the next five leading receivers and freshmen such as Jesse James, Trevor Williams and Eugene Lewis, would give Penn State a ton of experienced pass-catching options for whoever becomes the new quarterback next season.
One guy in particular has drawn rave reviews, and you’ve never seen him play.
“Eugene Lewis is a player that came in here with us and we really had high expectations for, and the more we saw him, he really didn't disappoint us,” Hixon said.
“His athletic ability is kind of off the chart.”
Lewis has traveled for road games and has been most valuable giving the defense the look of some of the more dynamic running quarterbacks it has faced this season, such as Ohio State’s Braxton Miller.
“Geno Lewis, the defensive guys talk about him every day, about what a good job he does for them,” said Hixon, who added it was difficult to have to redshirt Lewis until it was clear Robinson could be a No. 1 wide receiver and Lewis needed more time to hone his receiving skills after playing quarterback for most of his high school career.
Robinson’s future seems bright. The rest of the receiving corps doesn’t look so bleak, either.
Kyle Carter Ruled Out vs. Indiana
Redshirt freshman tight end Kyle Carter (hand) has been ruled out for Saturday’s game against Indiana, according to the team’s weekly injury report.
Carter injured his right wrist in the third quarter of Saturday’s 32-23 loss at Nebraska. He was still nursing an ankle injury last week.
In other injury news, reserve running back and special teams contributor Curtis Dukes (head) and safety Malcolm Willis (knee) are listed as day-to-day.
Paul Jones Heading to Robert Morris
Former Penn State quarterback/tight end Paul Jones will continue his football career next semester at Robert Morris, he announced Monday on Twitter.
Jones, a redshirt sophomore this season, will have two years of eligibility remaining. His father believed all of his credits earned at Penn State would transfer over.
“We’re excited for him,” his father, Paul, said Monday by phone.
Jones was heavily recruited but never took a snap at quarterback for Penn State after redshirting his freshman year and missing another because of academic reasons.
He ended spring practice as the No. 2 quarterback behind Matt McGloin, but freshman Steven Bench eventually passed him on the depth chart, prompting a switch to tight end. Jones caught one pass and had one rushing attempt before leaving the team for personal reasons in late September.
“He just wants to make a real smooth transition into the next phase,” Paul Jones Sr. said. “It’s a good day. It’s an exciting day.”
Deion Barnes - Posted a career-high six tackles, including a career-best three tackles for loss, and added one sack.
Zach Zwinak – Set a career high in rushing yards for the second straight week. His 50-yard touchdown run was Penn State’s longest play from scrimmage this year.
Sam Ficken - He has hit six straight field goals, and he connected a season-long 38-yarder on Saturday.
Glenn Carson and Gerald Hodges – Matched each other with 14 tackles. Hodges tied a season high. Carson set a career high.
Big Ten Officiating – Posted without comment.
Malcolm Willis and Kyle Carter - Willis left the game in the second half with a lower left leg injury. Carter suffered a right wrist injury in the third quarter.
- Allen Robinson is one catch shy of setting Penn State’s single-season receptions record (63, O.J. McDuffie, Bobby Engram). Not bad for a sophomore who recorded just three catches last year. But to put that in perspective, sports-reference.com tells us a wide receiver has caught at least 64 passes in a season 567 times since 2000.
- Penn State has scored 23 or more points in eight straight games, dating back to Sept. 15 against Navy. That is tied for the sixth longest streak in school history. If Penn State hits 23 points in its final two regular season games, it will be in a tie for the third longest such streak in school history. Penn State scored at least 23 points in 20 straight games from Nov. 1993 to Sept. 1995. Southern California holds the NCAA record for consecutive games scoring 23 or more points with 50 from Oct. 2002 to Sept. 2006.
Opponents have scored an average of 32.2 points per game against the Hoosiers. Wisconsin has allowed 23 or more points just twice all season.