Penn State ends its season Saturday at Wisconsin. Penn State, which is barred from the postseason because of NCAA sanctions, has nothing to play for but pride; Wisconsin, meanwhile, remains in the hunt for a BCS at-large berth.
Nittany Lions junior wide receiver Allen Robinson does have a tangible goal, though: He can become just the third Big Ten receiver ever with a 100-catch season. To further the plotline: It could be his final game at Penn State.
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Robinson (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) leads the Big Ten in receptions (89) and receiving yards (1,310) -- both single-season school records -- and is tied for eighth in TD catches (six). He has no shot at the league single-season record of 121 catches by Purdue's Chris Daniels in 1999 but conceivably could catch Illinois' David Williams, who had 101 catches in 1984. Third on the Big Ten's single-season list is Purdue's Rodney Carter, who had 98 catches in 1985. Robinson is a lock to become just the 10th league player with a 90-catch season.
Robinson has had three games this season with at least 11 receptions: in losses to Indiana and Ohio State and a win over Illinois.
But Wisconsin has proved to be tough to throw against. The Badgers are second in the Big Ten and ninth nationally in pass defense, allowing just 179.4 yards per game. Wisconsin has allowed an average of just 13.5 completions in its past four games; then again, the Badgers' secondary hasn't had to contend with anyone as talented as Robinson in those contests, either.
Asked last week whether Robinson was ready for the NFL, Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien answered, "I'm not going down that road."
Robinson, too, has avoided the question, telling reporters earlier this month, "I really haven't thought too much of it at all. It's definitely not something that I try to think too much about."
But former Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin, now with the Oakland Raiders, recently told the website theschoolphilly.com that he believes this will be Robinson's "last year in a Penn State uniform." Before the season, Robinson said finishing his telecommunications degree was important; he is scheduled to graduate next month.