Wan’Dale Robinson arrived just in time.
With Big Ten play opening against Illinois on the road last Saturday and the Huskers needing a spark while No. 5 Ohio State loomed on the horizon, the freshman all-purpose wideout had his best game of the season and earned the first of what could be many Big Ten honors in the process. Robinson, with his performance in a 42-38 win over Illinois, was named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week on Monday.
The Kentucky native caught eight passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns through the air, all career-highs. He also ran the ball 19 times — 11 coming in the fourth quarter alone — for another 89 yards and a touchdown, again all career-highs.
The 27 touches was by far the biggest workload he’s gotten in a game, besting the seven he had in the opener against South Alabama. He scored his first touchdown as a Husker on a 27-yard quick-hitter from quarterback Adrian Martinez in the second quarter. His third and final score proved to be the game-winning touchdown with 8:00 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run
With starter Maurice Washington injured on the Huskers’ opening drive and forced to leave the game for good right before halftime, Nebraska turned to Robinson on the road in the backfield in the second half. The majority of his snaps came from either alongside Martinez or motioned out of the backfield just before the snap.
This is the first Freshman of the Week honor for Robinson and the first for a Husker offensive player since Martinez was named the Freshman of the Week for the third time on Nov. 12, 2018, following a win over none other than Illinois. Kicker Barret Pickering was the last Husker named on Nov. 19.
The Huskers (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) host the fifth-ranked Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) on Saturday in a game that will be nationally televised on ABC at 6:30 p.m. CT and serve as the site for ESPN’s College GameDay.