For all intents and purposes, Oklahoma State's senior quarterback Zac Robinson has not been known for being a "Big Game QB."
Yes, he is the school's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, passing marks previously held by his head coach, Mike Gundy , and Josh Fields , but when it comes to games on the big stage against the toughest opponents, Robinson hasn't been able to combine personal success with a "W" for the Cowboys.
On Saturday, Robinson will have his final chance to overcome his reputation in the 2010 AT&T Cotton Bowl against Ole Miss.
Robinson enters the Cotton Bowl with with 1,964 yards 15 touchdowns through the air, which is down more than 1,000 yards and 10 fewer scores from his 2008 totals. With no Dez Bryant in the lineup and a remaining receiver corps that was plagued by dropped passes, it's understandable that Robinson's stats would be down.
But against the Pokes' two biggest opponents in 2009, Robinson's struggles couldn't be placed solely on inconsistent wide outs. In the season finale against Oklahoma in Bedlam, Robinson was 9 of 21 passing for only 44 yards, no touchdowns and a pick as the Sooners shutout the Cowboys 27-0. Against Texas, he completed 15 of 28 attempts for 143 yards, a score and four interceptions.
In 2008 he had a glimpses of removing his reputation. In Bedlam Robinson had 254 yards and three touchdown strikes and kept that headline-caliber play in the Holiday Bowl against Oregon with over 300 yards passing and a score, but threw two crucial interceptions. The Cowboys lost both games.
His play against Texas that year was decent, but he was sacked five times.
Turning the calendar back two years, the season he earned the starting job over Bobby Reid , the subject of Gundy's tirade directed towards Jenni Carslon of The Oklahoman, he had a mere 105 yards passing and one touchdown against the Sooners and 158 yards against Texas A&M, but did redeem himself on a personal level against Texas and Kansas, who went on to win the Orange Bowl in 2008 (2007 season).
Still, while Robinson has shown signs of coming through against the big opponents, he can't find a way for his team to find a victory.
Along with inconsistency, it's pretty evident that Robinson's success in the passing game relies on one man, Bryant. Not once this season did Robinson throw for over 280 yards or more than three touchdowns in a single game. The opponent in the single game with three touchdowns? Baylor.
On Friday, Robinson will have one final shot at combining the two things he's never been able to do against big time opponents: quality statistics with a victory. Will he rise to the occasions?