BY DREW CHAMPLIN | firstname.lastname@example.org
BIRMINGHAM – Troy quarterback Corey Robinson doesn’t have fond memories of Legion Field, but it is the place where the junior put up some career-best numbers.
Robinson, who will lead the Trojans into Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against UAB, threw for a career-best 404 yards two years ago in just his third college game, but it was overshadowed by UAB’s come-from-behind 34-33 win.
Now, Robinson and the Trojans are ready to avenge not just that, but last year’s 3-9 season. The Trojans wore t-shirts that read “Unfinished Business” on the bus ride to Birmingham.
Coaches say that Robinson, who won Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honors in 2010, is light years better than he was even last year. At Troy’s media day on Aug. 11., quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan said Robinson’s fundamentals were “night and day” better than they were at this time last year.
Robinson said he spent the summer watching hours and hours of film. He studied New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, one of the NFL’s best and Robinson’s favorite quarterback, on ways to improve.
“I’m just trying to learn from the best,” Robinson said. “I watched a couple of things he did to help himself get better. My pocket presence, I feel like, has improved night and day and that’s what Coach Reagan was talking about. My fundamentals, my arm angle, small stuff like that – little stuff that makes a good quarterback be a better one.”
Robinson needs just 551 yards to set the school’s career passing yards record, which is currently held by Sim Byrd.
“I hope he gets (the record) soon,” Troy offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield said. “Right now I think he’s more concerned with just executing the offense, managing the game and I think if he does that, it’ll come.”
Robinson said the Trojans have mostly been watching film of their game last year at Arkansas, a 38-28 loss.
That’s because first-year UAB head coach Garrick McGee came from Arkansas, where he served as offensive coordinator. UAB defensive coordinator Reggie Johnson also coached on the Arkansas staff last season.
As far as records go, Robinson didn’t want to talk much about them.
“I’ve got to get there first,” he said. “A lot of things can happen between now and then. We’ve just got to get there. That’s all I want to say about that.”
McGee said earlier this week that the UAB defensive staff must figure out a way to slow Robinson down and not give him much time to throw the ball.
“We cannot allow him to just sit back and pitch off of a mound and not apply pressure to him, and not give him different looks,” McGee said. “Our defensive tackles have to push the pocket in the middle to push him off of his set point.”