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Despite standing at only 5-foot-7 and tipping the scales at 185 pounds, junior running back Robbie Rouse doesn’t let his size stop him from performing on the field.

Fresno State has found its workhorse


Fresno State has four remaining games on its schedule and every
game is now a must win if it want to get back to a bowl game.
Dalton Runberg / The Collegian

Despite standing at only 5-foot-7 and tipping the scales at 185 pounds, junior running back Robbie Rouse doesn’t let his size stop him from performing on the field.

In a season plagued by mediocrity, Rouse still competes at 100 percent, pouring his heart into the game he grew up loving.

“I know I’m a lot smaller than a lot of other backs, so I don’t want any other excuse to be taken out,” Rouse said. “I just love to play the game and I’m giving everything I can for my team each and every play.”

This positive mentality and heart has allowed Rouse to become a leading competitor for the ‘Dogs.

“He has a great heart for the game, and I think one of his biggest attributes is that he is such a big competitor,” running backs coach Joe Wade said. “He hates to lose and his motivation will always be there because he’s a winner and he’s going to continue to work and get better.”

Rouse exhibits his competitive side every time he takes the field.

He rushed for 94 yards on 24 attempts in Saturday’s 41-21 loss to Lousiana Tech, surpassing the 1,000 yard mark in back-to-back seasons, propelling himself into the Fresno State record books.

“He’s consistently been extremely productive this year and that shows in the production we’ve seen,” Wade said of Rouse’s stellar numbers on the season. “I think he’s done an outstanding job and I expect that to continue.”

Rouse, who currently has 1,080 yards rushing this season, is the nation’s ninth-leading rusher. He is also just 276 yards shy of Ron Rivers’ record of most yards gained in back-to-back seasons. With one more season of eligibility left, the San Diego native running back is also on course to leave Fresno State as the university’s all-time leading rusher.

Rouse has rushed for 2,688 yards on 503 attempts as a Bulldog and is only 785 yards away from breaking Rivers’ 18-year-old rushing record. Rouse is currently the fourth-leading rusher in Bulldog history.

But it isn’t just the ground game where Rouse is most lethal.

Wade described Rouse as the complete running back for Fresno State’s offense. Rouse’s ability to both protect the rush and catch the ball out of the backfield are reasons he has been depended on time and time again to carry the load.

“He’s able to play on every down. He’s got tremendous heart, and when people blitz, he’s our best protector in terms of trying to take care of Derek [Carr],” Wade said.

Along with being one of Carr’s best pass protectors, Rouse has also emerged as an efficient receiver, with 119 receiving yards on 20 receptions. Rouse’s football knowledge and athleticism have molded him into a well-rounded running back.

“I wouldn’t say he has a weakness, but there are things he can always work on,” Wade said of Rouse’s success in the backfield. “As we progress into his senior year, the things both he and I will be focusing on is to get his top end speed faster.”