Notre Dame's 17-13 victory over Michigan State was tailored made for freshman receiver Corey Robinson to be a bigger part of the offense.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder had three receptions for 54 yards and drew two of the Spartans' four pass interference penalties.
In game where Michigan State was taking away the run by loading up defenders in the box and letting its cornerbacks go one-on-one, the son of former NBA star David Robinson had his chance to shine.
"It's outside the numbers," coach Brian Kelly said of using Robinson more Saturday. "It's not conceptually a lot of different route adjustments. You're going to get press man, go up and get the football. So, yeah, in a large degree, that allows a guy like Corey to get some more playing time."
Robinson has played in every game this season, but before the win over the Spartans, he had only one catch for 12 yards.
Robinson's production to start the season had more to do with him learning the system than his ability, Kelly said.
"He got a lot better over the last two or three weeks with more zone route running where you have to sit down and find areas," Kelly said. "A lot of that is just making the transition from high school to college, like a lot of other receivers. So he's not alone in this process. Will Fuller is doing it. James Onwualu. They're still developing, but we can see they have the skill to help us."
Robinson's greatest assets are his height and the ability to box out defenders, which he got tips on from his father.
"I learned some basketball skills from my dad," Robinson said. "You know how to box out and jump up and catch the ball. I think that's what really helps out. It is hard to guard a tall receiver, especially if your back is turned to him and you don't know where the ball is. I think that really helps you out.
"I think I figured that out in my junior or senior year when all of the corners where at 5-10, it was just show easy to jump over them. Now the corners are so much better and so much more physical, but I still have to do what I was recruited here for – jump, catch ball and make plays."
Robinson said he didn't start feeling comfortable in the offense until about midway through fall camp.
"When every day you can consistently make plays, that's when I started getting more comfortable on the field and understanding the offense more and where I fit in the offense," Robinson said. "It's crazy. Here we have to play every position on the field. Back in high school, I just had to run go (routes). It's really cool to be able to learn the entire offense, as opposed to one spot."
The freshman also said he really enjoys having his father, who is never hard to spot on the sidelines, at games.
"It's crazy. I watched him growing up, and now, he gets to watch me," Robinson said. "It's a cool little trade off there. I always love seeing him. He's my biggest fan. He's been to every game. He's been to Michigan, Purdue. He's everywhere. It is so much fun being able to see him and talk to him after the games and talk about competing at this level and what's it's like for him back in the '80s and now what it is like in 2013."