Penn State Football

Game-Changer Returns to Practice: What Chop Robinson’s Return Could Mean for Penn State Football vs. Michigan

Penn State Football has not seen Chop Robinson on the field since his injury in the second quarter against Ohio State.

However, after missing the last 10 quarters of football for Penn State, and warming up and taking reps before the Maryland game last Saturday, Robinson returned as a full participant at practice this week.

Robinson‘s return could be crucial if the Nittany Lions want to upset No. 3 Michigan in Happy Valley Saturday afternoon.


While Manny Diaz’s defense has been using a heavy rotation this season to keep players fresh, one of the focal points of Penn State’s elite defense has been the pass rush highlighted by top end talent in Adisa Isaac, Chop Robinson, and Dani Dennis-Sutton. Robinson, a preseason projected first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, had been a key anchor on the defensive line until his injury.

Even with missing the last 10 quarters of football, Robinson ranks second on the team with three sacks and is tied for third on the team with five tackles for a loss.

Robinson is also one of eight Nittany Lion defenders to force a fumble this season.

How Chop Robinson Boosts Penn State Football vs. Michigan

Getting Robinson back against Michigan would be a huge reinforcement for Penn State’s defensive line that will be tested Saturday.

Michigan ranks 18th in the nation in sacks allowed per game, averaging only 1.22 sacks allowed per game. Penn State on the other hand ranks 1st in the nation in team sacks, averaging 4.11 sacks per game.

With this strength-on-strength matchup, Penn State needs its elite defensive end to matchup with Michigan’s offensive line.

Forcing Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy to move in the pocket and throw quickly could help Penn State’s defensive backs contain Roman Wilson and a dangerous Michigan passing game.

Keeping Michigan off schedule with negative plays in the running game and forcing incompletions or sacks, would also help Penn State keep the ball out of the hands of Blake Corum, who has accounted for 16 touchdowns on the year.

Penn State’s strength on defense this season has been depth and being able to rotate in fresh legs to keep the defense fresh and playing at a high level all game.

Against a Michigan team that will push Penn State for four quarters Saturday, Robinson’s return to action would be huge to keep Penn State’s defense fresh and give Penn State one more elite playmaker to match up with the Wolverines.

MORE: Where Penn State Stands in Big Ten Tiebreakers

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About Author

Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.