Whitehurst, Robinson guide North to Senior Bowl win

MOBILE, Ala. -- Charlie Whitehurst and Michael Robinson
flashed different skills for the NFL scouts.
Jay Cutler just hopes he convinced them that he belongs among
the nation's elite quarterbacks despite an uneven performance in
the North's 31-14 victory over the South in the Senior Bowl on
The Vanderbilt star was trying to catch Southern California's
Matt Leinart and Texas' Vince Young, two All-Americans who didn't
play in the showcase game for top senior NFL prospects.
"I belong in the same group with Leinart and Vince Young, up at
the top," Cutler said when asked what he proved during the week's
practices. "I think there's a lot of speculation if I can play at
the next level with those guys. I think now everybody knows what
kind of talent I have and where I might be at the draft."
While most of the quarterbacks struggled at times during the
game, Whitehurst and Robinson managed to shine one way or another.
Robinson displayed the running ability that could bode well for
a possible position move after a dazzling season at quarterback for
Penn State. He led two touchdown drives with his legs, not his arm,
and gained 63 yards on nine carries despite a sack.
"I just hope I showed people that I'm a football player and
when coached I can go out there and you can put me anywhere and I
can succeed," said Robinson, who also started at receiver and
running back for the Nittany Lions during his college career. He
was 1-of-3 passing for nine yards.
Whitehurst, the North's offensive MVP, directed a seamless drive
after Cutler was ineffective on the first two series. The Clemson
quarterback was perfect on five attempts for 66 yards, lofting a
15-yard scoring pass to Colorado tight end Joe Klopfenstein and
finishing 7-of-9 for 90 yards.
"We were able to kind of methodically take it down the field
and answer their first touchdown," Whitehurst said. "It got us
back in the game and we were able to roll after that."
Nebraska's Daniel Bullocks recovered two muffed punts, grabbing
one in the end zone for a score and setting up the final touchdown
with the other in the fourth quarter.
It was a mostly quiet day for two of the top offensive NFL
prospects, Cutler and Memphis tailback DeAngelo Williams. Cutler
was just 6-of-19 for 69 yards and was intercepted in the end zone
by Cedric Griffin of Texas to end the game's opening drive. Cutler
did complete a 7-yard TD pass to Arizona State's Derek Hagan with
6:12 left after Bullocks' second fumble recovery.
Williams played sparingly but effectively with three carries for
31 yards. He also took a screen pass 28 yards in the fourth quarter
and was the South's offensive MVP.
The overall MVP was Miami receiver Sinorice Moss of the South,
who had three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. He also ran 27
yards on a reverse and fell on a teammate's fumble, but he'd much
rather have come up with a win after the Hurricanes' 40-3 Peach
Bowl loss to LSU.
"It's burning me inside right now that I had to lose the
football game," Moss said. "I even lost the last game of my Miami
career, and I really hate losing."
The defensive MVPs were Georgia Tech's Gerris Wilkinson (South)
and Penn State's Tamba Hali (North). Hali had two of the North's
five sacks and Wilkinson also had a sack.
The game's two in-state quarterback products both threw
touchdown passes for the South. UAB's Darrell Hackney hit a
wide-open Devin Aromashodu of Auburn in the left corner of the end
zone for a 17-yard score early in the fourth and Alabama's Brodie
Croyle hit Moss for a 30-yard TD in the first.
Moss made a nifty juke on a defender to get open on the play.
Tight ends Dominique Byrd of Southern California and
Klopfenstein were the North's top receivers. Byrd had four catches
for 67 yards and Klopfenstein finished with three receptions for 39
The South managed only 179 yards as Croyle, Hackney and
Georgia's D.J. Shockley all struggled at quarterback.
Croyle stressed how hard it is to overcome turnovers. But, he
added: "This game was for the fans, and I guess if you're a North
team fan, you've got something to cheer about tonight."