No. 3 Alabama DT Robinson making plays all over the field
The defensive lineman for No. 3 Alabama twice tackled Leonard Fournette behind the line in the third quarter, helped pave the way for two short touchdown runs on offense and hurdled LSU's snapper to block an extra point try.
None of it surprised his teammates.
''That's just A'Shawn,'' Crimson Tide linebacker Ryan Anderson said. ''He can do that kind of stuff. Most people don't believe it, but he's a freak. That's what kind of stuff we're used to seeing him do.''
It's hard to stand out on the deep front seven for Alabama, second in the College Football Playoff rankings. Linebacker Reggie Ragland and lineman Jarran Reed make significantly more tackles than Robinson. Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams and others get more sacks.
Robinson makes his presence felt in other ways.
Getting the opposing runner on the ground is part of any defensive tackle's job description. Robinson also lined up on offense in goal line situations along with tight end Michael Nysewander to escort Derrick Henry to a pair of touchdowns in the 30-16 win over LSU.
Then there was the fourth-quarter play where Robinson just jumped over the long snapper to smother Trent Domingue's PAT attempt.
''He's a freak,'' Henry said of his teammate.
It's not how the special teams play was drawn up, of course. Not that coach Nick Saban was complaining.
''LSU guys kept getting lower and lower and lower to where they were almost cutting to the ground,'' Saban said. ''I'm not saying there was anything illegal about that. I think he just decided that if that guy was going to be that low, `I'm just going to pop over the top.' It was a surprise to us.''
He said Tide coaches had put in the offensive package with Robinson earlier in the season but never used it. They revived it last week after a couple of goal line failures. Saban had used defensive lineman Jesse Williams in similar fashion a few years ago.
Henry said Robinson had been promising all week that, ''I'm going to get you in there.'' He didn't hesitate when asked what Robinson would do if he actually got the ball.
''Score. Run somebody over. Stiff arm them,'' Henry said. ''He can make plays on both sides of the ball. He's an athletic player like that.''
Robinson is more likely to bring down running backs than score touchdowns. He also has only half a sack total the past two seasons after making 5.5 as a freshman. He does lead the Tide with eight quarterback hurries and recovered the game-clinching fumble in the final minutes against Tennessee.
''He's big, physical and fast,'' said Mississippi State left tackle Rufus Warren, comparing Robinson to a Bulldogs defensive tackle.
''He kind of reminds you of a bigger Chris Jones. We just have to come off the ball and put hands on him. Just like when we're going against Chris Jones. You've got to put hands on him and move your feet.''
And don't get too low on kicks.
David Brandt contributed to this report in Starkville, Mississippi.
AP college football site: http://collegefootball.ap.org