A candid Jovon Robinson didn’t hold back in his post-game press conference after a 26-10 win over Texas A&M.
It was the second straight game the Auburn running back saw the field for an extended period of time; and for the second straight game the junior college transfer made the most of it.
He crossed the 100-yard mark early in the second quarter, and went on to finish with a game-high 159 yards with a touchdown. It was part of a 300-plus yard day for Auburn’s offense.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time,” Robinson said, with a smile. “When they gave me the ball, I was like finally I can release my inner beast.”
It was Robinson’s first time talking to the media since before the season. He injured his ankle in Auburn’s season-opener against Louisville, and went weeks without playing after a pair of carries against LSU.
With Peyton Barber banged up on the sidelines last week against Ole Miss, Robinson carried the ball 18 times for 91 yards.
Barber was healthier this week, but Robinson made himself the focal point of the run game with a string of strong carries early in the game.
On Auburn’s second drive, he broke a 45-yard run, the team’s second longest from a running back this season, and scored his first career touchdown on a third and goal at the 1-yard line on the same drive.
“My coach, my quarterback and our offensive line gave us a great opportunity, I just seized the moment,” Robinson said.
Robinson sees great things ahead for Auburn's offense if the line can continue to play like it did Saturday nihgt.
“I can truly say game-in, and game-out, our offensive line been solid, put me in the backfield great things can happen,” Robinson said.
It was a far cry from the offense Auburn put on the field in recent losses.
Robinson’s lack of playing time with the unit struggling raised questions about his status.
The coaching staff’s reluctance to even talk about the highly touted back added fuel to the fire, but the Tennessee native dismissed the notion anything other than an injury was connected to his absence.
“I injured my ankle the first week of the season,” Robinson said. “I injured my ankle first game of the season. I just wasn’t ready to perform at this level, I know I could. I got in the LSU game and got a couple carries, just to see if I could feel out if I could perform, that’s the only thing that I think personally that was holding me back.”
His inability to speak for himself in recent weeks only added to the problem.
“I feel like that may have been emphasized way out of proportion," Robinson said.
Robinson admitted he wanted to be on the field – “just to be real, every player wants to perform” – but grudgingly acknowledged that the coaches made the right decision waiting until he was 100 percent.
“For us going through that slump that we went through, I felt like, inside I could contribute, but at the same time I was injured,” Robinson said. “…Holding me back, was probably the best decision.”