Chat with Penn State QB Michael Robinson
|Robinson's versatility has proven troublesome for opponents.|
The dynamic Robinson has led No. 8 Penn State to a 6-0 start and its highest ranking in six years. He's thrown for nine touchdowns this season and also leads the team with five rushing scores.
The Nittany Lions are one of nine remaining unbeatens in Division I-A, and the only Big Ten team without a loss in conference play. Saturday's game in Ann Arbor will be just Penn State's second away from Happy Valley this season.
Send in your questions now, and join Michael on Wednesday at noon ET for all the answers.
The ShowGirl (11:56 AM)
Welcome to The Show! Michael Robinson will be here shortly. Send in those questions now!
Michael Robinson (12:00 PM)
Hello, this is Mike Robinson, QB for Penn State. I'm here and I'm ready for your questions.
Rich pen argyl, pa
Can you explain the emotions you felt walking thru the tunnel onto the field before the ohio st game
Michael Robinson (12:02 PM)
It was invigorating to know that you have that much support from the fans here at Penn State and knowing that the past couple years, we haven't had the best of seasons, but they are still there showing their support. It is crazy. It feels so good to have them and it's a feeling I can't even describe, but I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.
Mike- Congrats on a great season thus far! Will we see more down field passes this week or are we going to see more of the same conservative play calling as we did against OSU?
Michael Robinson (12:03 PM)
We're pretty much going to take what the defense gives us. The corners were bailing out against Ohio State, they weren't giving up any big plays. As far as Michigan, if we can get them off the bump, we'll go deep, but if they are going to lay back, we'll have to take what they give us.
It seems like Penn State does well when Derrick Williams gets the football. We've seen him at tailback a couple of times this year, which has been very successful. What can we expect from Derrick this weekend in Ann Arbor, maybe a halfback pass or a double reverse wide receiver pass?
Michael Robinson (12:04 PM)
Without giving away too much, Derrick is an exceptional athlete and a great football player who has to have his hands on the ball. The challenge for us is continuing to find new ways to utilize his talents.
Nate Gage Mechanic Falls, ME
Looking at the latest odds, Penn State is a 3 point underdog heading into Saturday's visit to Ann Arbor. Do you take this as a lack of respect for the Nittany Lions? Do you think that an undefeated top ten team should be an underdog going into a game against an unranked, 3-3 team.
Michael Robinson (12:07 PM)
I pretty much expected that. I expected us to be the underdog going into Ann Arbor. It's a hostile environment and Michigan always seems to play some of their best games against Penn STate. I'm not surprised at the underdog status, but I think we'll certainly use that as a little added motivation. A lot of people are doubting and wondering if we will be able to handle the success that we have garnered so far, but, reagarless of all of that, we just want to go in there and play our best game.
JD (PSU class of '05)
I'm proud of you and the whole team. What was going through your mind on the 4th and 15 play at Northwestern?
Michael Robinson (12:08 PM)
Laughs. Actually, I was thinking "I hope they don't play too far back, I hope there is an opportunity to hit someone accross the middle." Our TE ran a great route, and there wasn't a doubt in my mind that we would get it. I kind of knew the direction I wanted to go with the ball and it ended up going our way.
Michael...I just wanted to say keep up the great work! I traveled to State College from Maine to see the Minnesota game and was thoroughly impressed.
Jansen (New York, NY)
Thanks for bringing Penn State back.
Matt, McCrone, Bloomsburg, PA
Michael, a lot of people around the country are comparing you to the Texas quarterback Vince Young. Joe Paterno has talked about how he sent coaches to Texas in the off season to study the Texas offensive scheme and how they effectivly use Vince Young. Have you had an opportunity to watch any of his highlights? If so, how would you compare yourself to him.
Michael Robinson (12:11 PM)
I do understand why people make the comparisons. We are both running QBs, we definitely went down there and got some ideas on how they use Vince in the shotgun and on running plays. I don't really compare myself to him .... and I'm sure he doesn't compare himself to me. (laughs) But he is a great football player, a little younger than me, I think he will continue to have great success.
Brian (Middletown, PA)
Michael, I'm a PSU alum, Class of '96. I'd like to thank you and your teammates for bringing the program back to importance in the national picture. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about Penn State is JoePa's role and how much he really does coaching the team. I know a lot of folks I talk with think he does very little but stand around at practices and let the assistants run things. Tell the people that this isn't true!
Michael Robinson (12:13 PM)
Coach Paterno means a lot to me. He makes a lot of the big decisions on game day -- whether to go to it on 4th down, whether to kick a field goal, etc. The Xs and Os are left up to the assistant, but as far as the philosophy of the game and the schemes and general tactics he envisions, he will communicate that to the assistants and then they turn out the Xs and Os of Coach Paterno's philosophy.
JS - '02
WE ARE........ No real question... just couldn't resist!!!!!!!!
Tommy (Lancaster, PA)
Your turn around in terms of turnovers has been nothing short of incredible. What have you been doing, if anything, to make sure the ball stays in Penn States hands.
Michael Robinson (12:15 PM)
Just making better decisions, not forcing any throws, taking the easy throw. The offensive coordinators are putting me in position to take what the defense gives me. As far as fumbles, I've been doing ball carrying drills everyday at practice. Working on keeping the ball close to my body and not giving the opponent the opportunity to poke it out.
Chris (Belle Vernon, PA)
Has it helped you as a QB to have played so many different positions in your years at PSU? And does the team feel confident that they can compete on any given Saturday with any other team?
Michael Robinson (12:17 PM)
Yes, the team definitely feels that way and that is a tribute to Coach Paterno. He makes us believe in ourselves and he helps us find that swagger that we are Penn State. ... As far as my other positions, I have played RB and WR and this helps me, it makes it easier to communicate I know what they are seeing, I know what they are thinking and it makes it easier for me to communicate what I'm thinking with them. The overall process is a little easier because of my time spent in their shoes.
Sue (Bloomington, Indiana)
Who wins a 60 yard race: Butler, Williams, or King?
Michael Robinson (12:18 PM)
Laughs. Umm. Actually, I think Derrick would probably win it in 60 yards ... if it was 20 yards, probably Justin would win it ... but Deon would be there at their heels everytime. Nobody would blow anybody out.
Where position do you see yourself fitting into an NFL team? You have played everywhere with some degree of success. What do the "experts" think?
Michael Robinson (12:20 PM)
Hopefully, I'm changing people's mind and letting them know that I can play quarterback. At the same time, I am a realist and if not a QB, I think I could fit as a third down back/receiver ... or a second or third receiver in passing downs. We'll see.
Clint (Pittsburgh, Pa)
Mike, since Ben may not play this week for the Steelers, are you available to play in his place??? Please???
Michael Robinson (12:21 PM)
Ahhaha. It all depends on how Saturday goes. If we can come out of Ann Arbor with a win, I'd have no objections filling in for Big Ben on Sunday ... as long as I get his paycheck at the end of the game I think I'll be alright!!
Ty (Lock Haven, PA)
What has practice been like this week? Are you doing anything special to keep momentum up?
Michael Robinson (12:22 PM)
We're pretty much just keeping things business as usual. Coach Paterno is not a guy who likes to change the schedule, he wants to conserve our legs but at the same time get us quality reps. We're just keeping everything on pace and on track to go in and play Penn State football.
West Chester, PA
I know a lot of us as fans are hoping to see Henne on his rear end a lot this weekend. Does the defense have a bullseye fixed on him or is he just another QB?
Michael Robinson (12:24 PM)
I don't know, that's a question for those guys, but the way those guys play, I think EVERY quarterback has a bullseye on his back. We have a great D-line and a great front seven who will certainly be looking to mix things up and create some problems for Chad Henne this weekend.
Jason (Brooklyn, NY)
Mike- I gotta say I was the first to wear your jersey at games. My freshman year I bought the jersey cause Rashard Casey was qb. Then you came in my junior year and scored 3 tds against Nebraska and I was yelling for you to replace Mills as QB. How do you feel about finally getting to start your senior year?
Michael Robinson (12:26 PM)
It feels pretty good. Thanks Jason! I'm trying to soak up every moment of it. The teams winning, that's the most important thing, regardless of my personal success, I just want to keep winning games and get us to a big time bowl. ... But, that said, sure there are times when I wish I had another year. I'm finally getting the hang of things and everything is clicking, but, you take what you've got.
Jordan (State College, Pa)
I just want to thank you. I have been a Penn State fan for as long as I can remember. Now going to school here, you have helped to restore a lot of pride in this team. Beat those Wolverines!
Michael Robinson (12:28 PM)
Thank you guys for all of your support. We DEFNITELY appreciate it. It's not safe to say that we're back YET, but we're trying to get there. We're trying to be a force on the national screen again and make everybody proud -- the students, the alums, the staff, anybody that has ever played football here before ... We're very excited to be where we are and we are just hoping to play our game and continue to find success. Thanks so much for all of your questions and comments today and for all of your support for the team.
Mike, GREAT job so far this season, your leadership skills are one in a million. You are ALL heart and the perfect mold for "PENN STATE FOOTBALL" .... I only have one question for you... WE ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Michael Robinson (12:29 PM)
Thanks everybody! Take care!