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Texas' Bijan Robinson: A Heisman Front-Runner in Every Way

With a career-high day, Bijan Robinson is officially in the race for the Heisman

Here's to you, Mr. Robinson. Texas loves you more than will know. 

Woah, woah, woah. That, or however the song goes. 

Bijan Robinson already has been the driving force of Texas' (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) resurgence under the direction of Steve Sarkisian. This offseason, Sark told reporters his sophomore running back was a "Ferrari you don't leave in the garage." 

He let him loose in an ugly 32-27 win over TCU on the road. The "All Gas, No Breaks" motto never was more true than in Amon G. Carter Stadium for 60 minutes Saturday morning.

“I’ll say this, I’d much rather win ugly than lose pretty,” Sarkisian said postgame. “This was an ugly one.”

READ MORE: Bijan Robinson's Career Day Carries Texas' Offense in Win Over TCU

Robinson finished with career-highs in carries (35) and yards (216) while helping Texas win for the first time on the road against the Horned Frogs (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) since 2013. It wasn't just quantity either for the Arizona native. Quality mattered as well. 

Robinson averaged 6.2 yards per play. He wouldn't go down on first contact either. A freight train force, Robinson dominated TCU's front seven. 

If there ever was a time to use the term "put the team on your back," Saturday was it. The rest of Texas' offense finished with 198 total yards.

"No. 5 kind of epitomized our football team, the grit. He was exhausted," Sarkisian said. "Thirty-five carries later, the last one was the most important one to get one more first down to seal the win. ... He's earned our trust."

It was Texas' final drive that cemented Robinson's tier-one status as a game-changer. Texas needed a pair of first downs on second-and-2 and third-and-6. Robinson got both and ate up the clock. 

TCU ran out of timeouts, thus giving Texas the win before the Red River Showdown next week up the road. 

READ MORE: Texas Holds On Against TCU, Wins 32-27

"I just knew I had to get that first down, for the whole team to keep going forward and end the game," Robinson said.

For years, Texas has been known for its running back play. Earl Campbell began the trend in 1974. A.J. Jones followed in 1978 and the ground and pound attack became a Forty Acres staple. 

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Ricky Williams became the face of college football with his 2,000-yard season in 1998. Before that, he had back-to-back seasons of over 1,000 on the ground. 

Two years later, enter Cedric Benson, who ranks third all-time rushing in program history. Four years starting, four years of 1,000 yards in Austin. 

Running the ball and Texas football were synonymous for years. So was winning. Is this what Texas was missing all along? 

READ MORE: Texas OL Denzel Okafor Leaves TCU Game With Injury

Robinson might be the final form of Texas rushers of the decades. He's effective on the ground both between the trenches and off the edge. Tackling him off initial contact is near impossible. 

As the game has transitioned more to the pass, Robinson factors in there as well. In every game this season. he's recorded at least one catch. On Saturday, his two receptions for 22 yards each set up scoring drives for Texas. 

Robinson alone out-rushed TCU as a team, including nearly doubling the stat line of Horned Frogs' breakout star Zach Evans. 

Robinson controlled the game. Everyone else could just watch. 

“It’s fun to break a defense’s will,” Robinson said. “When you know that defense is broken, that’s when everything starts to flow and open up.”

Since 2000,  only three running backs have won the coveted Heisman Trophy. The first was Reggie Bush, who set records at USC in 2005. Alabama's Mark Ingram set the Crimson Tide's single-season rushing record in 2009, only to have Derrick Henry top in during his Heisman season in 2015. 

READ MORE: Defensive Takeaways: Texas Defense Improves, Still Has Long Way To Go

Robinson dons the No. 5 like Bush. He's built similar to that of Ingram, but can physically beat down defenders like Henry. 

Maybe a running back won't take home the hardware. If one does, Robinson is the front-runner and maybe the only option. 


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