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October 10, 2012When Denard Robinson broke into the open field for 38 yards late in the first quarter, you expected him to take the football all the way, not step out of bounds at the Purdue 25-yard line. Or definitely on his 46-yarder in the third quarter. You expected him to score on his 59-yard rush in the fourth, but again, he went down without points.
The fact is, when Robinson gets into the open field, accelerating with a burst perhaps unrivaled in college football, he usually scores - seven of his 11 career runs of 40 yards or more have reached the end zone. Half of those four that haven't reached pay dirt came last Saturday against Purdue.
"There were a couple times I could have stuck my foot in the ground and cut up field, but you're going to always feel you could have done more when you see it on film," said Robinson, who added there's a benefit to avoiding the hit. "Sometimes it's good for me to run out of bounds."
Robinson's 59-yard gain against the Boilermakers set a record for the longest non-touchdown rush of his career, but he's had another 50-yarder come to a halt before the goal line - a 52-yard run against Eastern Michigan in 2011.
In total, 24 of his 34 career runs of 20 yards or more have not resulted in TDs. But those that do - an 87-yard sprint, splitting two Notre Dame defenders; a 72-yard gallop against Indiana; the 41-yard score down the sideline against Ohio State last season; or the 58- and 79-yard TD dashes he had versus Air Force this fall - will never be forgotten.