Robertson a force on defense

Published 6:00 pm Friday, November 12, 2021

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Troy linebacker KJ Robertson has lobbied to get into some offensive plays in recent weeks. He made strong case on Saturday when he picked off a South Alabama pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Robertson continued his strong play of late in Troy’s 31-24 win over South Alabama on Saturday.

In addition to his pick six, Robertson finished with eight tackles, one of eight Trojans who finished with more than five tackles.

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“KJ has been what he has been probably since he has been here,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “A very consistent guy, one of the leaders on our team that kind of keeps everybody up and going. Big time interception and return for a touchdown.

“Whatever he does, he does it as good as he can do it. He competes and he is a competitive guy. He is very driven and plays with a high motor. Love him to death, he is a guy we are glad is on our team.”

Robertson is second on the team in total tackles with 46. Robertson has admitted in the past that it is a constant battle between him and his teammates for the team lead in total tackles. He is behind only Carlton Martial, who checks in with 92 tackles. Robertson has three tackles for loss this season and half a sack.

“I think I have been doing alright,” Robertson said. “I still have a whole lot I need to progress on. I just try to do my best and study film more often.”

Robertson believes he is his own biggest critic and will often be hard on himself when not playing well on the field.

“You can see me on film a couple times sort of cussing myself out when I know I have done something wrong,” Robertson said. “My coach sends down a message and I tell them what I did and they are like ok he already knows. That’s just my personality. I am a perfectionist and until I reach that peak I’m still going to strive to be that way and be the best player I can be. I’m not where I need to be yet. Hopefully I will get there soon.”

Robertson is part of a defense that ranks first in total defense and first in run defense. They have the league’s third best pass defense and third best scoring defense.

“The last couple of months I think it’s our will to not give up when stuff doesn’t go our way,” Robertson said. “It doesn’t damage our spirit at all. We always try to get the ball back to our offense, which at the end of the day is the best thing for us. I just commend the whole group for not ever letting our heads down and always looking for the next play.”

Robertson and the defense has faced their fair share of challenges this year. The Trojans went wire-to-wire against three of their tougher opponents this year in Liberty, South Carolina and Costal Carolina. They will have another opportunity for a big win on Saturday against Louisiana.

“It’s huge and everyone has talked about it,” Robertson said. “Louisiana is, to me, the best team we have played so far. They do a great job of not beating themselves. They have a great quarterback, a huge offensive line and two really good running backs that can do whatever you need them to do. It’s a challenge for us, especially on defense. We want to pride ourselves on not letting a team run the ball.

“It’s a huge chance for us to show what we’re capable of doing. Everybody is excited for it and we can’t wait until Saturday.”

As for playing offense, the running back feels he is more than capable of assuming the role

“I don’t know why people are sleeping on me,” Robertson said “I’m legit. My dad was a running back coach. I can use a block or two and get going. If coach Lindsey wants to hook a brother up with a couple plays, we got it. You saw what I did.”

The conversation has definitely been brought up between Lindsey and Robertson.

“He made sure to let me know how he needs to play some offense, which is something we have laughed about,” Lindsey said.