Hopefully, Matt Rhule has sat down with Robby and impressed upon him all those hand gestures that were legal 2 years ago are now 15-yard penalties.
When a school like Penn State regularly attracts over 100,000 fans to each of its home football games, the business of previewing every game both in print and on the internet is a lucrative one.
Newspapers are sold and site counters go out of control with every mention of each matchup with host Temple on Saturday. All of the things written about this game, almost none of them mention a guy that just about everyone will be talking about afterward and that is Temple wide receiver Robby Anderson. Only by Wednesday did Penn Live even mention him and that was a fine piece by a great writer named David Jones.
Black Shoe Diaries, one of the best blogs ever, did a 1,000-word story on the matchups and did not even mention Robinson’s name.
The largely Penn State-focused press can certainly be forgiven for overlooking Anderson, since they have never seen him play, but many in Philadelphia have and are anxious to see him in action again. Anderson is the kind of weapon Temple fans are more than content to roll out at kickoff (3:30 EST, ESPN). Almost all of the Penn State-centric previews have focused on a repeat of last year’s matchups.
Anderson, who flunked out of Temple in January of 2014 as Robbie before his current resurrection and change of first-name spelling to Robby, brings a whole different dynamic to this one. When fans last saw him, in the 2013 finale at Memphis, he dominated the game, catching three touchdown passes in a 41-21 win. Memphis would go on to win the AAC last year. That day, even though the Tigers rolled their coverages over to his side, they could not stop him.
It was the exclamation point on a spectacular 10-game season for the 6-3, 190-pound receiver, who caught 44 passes for 791 yards for nine touchdowns and averaged 18 yards-per-catch—the second highest average among all 126 FBS teams. Anderson has a remarkable skill set which includes a 44-inch vertical leap, sub-4.5-speed in the 40-yard dash and moves of a premier punt returner in the open field. In fact, he is also Temple’s starting punter returner this season.
Anderson’s late start in 2013 can be chalked up to the fact that he was a defensive back in the spring and had to take care of family matters in Florida before rejoining the team later in the 2013 season. Just before a game at Idaho, Temple coaches tried him out at wide receiver and found that he and then true freshman quarterback P.J. Walker formed a cosmic connection and the rest was history.
Anderson will be on display for the nation to see on Saturday and, afterward, the question Penn State fans will be asking of their media is why they never heard of him.