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ON THE ROAD TO STARKVILLE: This is a weekend of taking care of business. The Razorback football team lines up for the first of two SEC West top 25 showdowns. Volleyball hosts the No. 1 team in the country. Men’s hoops gets the 2010-11 season started with a defensive bang.
And, you need to Vote Mallett.
Ryan Mallett continues to rack of University of Arkansas records at, well, a record pace. Last week against UTEP, he "only" tied his own mark for five touchdown passes in a game — for the third time. He "just" led an offensive outburst of 35 straight points — all TD passes — and he did it on a remarkably amazing 215 passing yards. And, he tied a new record for him — a rushing TD gave him six for the game. All in just three quarters.
This weekend with a tough Mississippi State team at home before a sellout crowd, Mallett will need all four quarters.
This weekend, he also needs your help. The Davey O’Brien Award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate passer. Unlike many of the other position awards, the O’Brien has a fan vote component that isn’t just a publicity tool. The on-line voting will translate into real votes — just like any other journalist or football dignitary who receives a ballott. Five percent of the entire O’Brien ballots will be based on who gets what percentage of the fan vote.
Starting last Friday, we reached out to you our loyal fans to take care of business for Ryan. So far, it has been a remarkable job, moving him from over 1,000 votes to over 12,000 this morning. He has moved from 12th to 3rd, and most important of all, now has 14% of the overall vote. The fans from Boise State just ahead of us have started to, as the O’Brien Award website encourages, defend their pride and make hit hard to push Ryan to second and further.
That’s where you come in today. All the fans that have voted so far probably know this, but it bears repeating. The O’Brien folks encourage you to vote once a day. So if you voted for Ryan this week, please vote again. If your friends and neighbors haven’t voted yet, get them signed up.
The deadline for the votes is noon Sunday. The O’Brien finalists come out at the start of next week, and we certainly hope to see Ryan in that cut for the awards show in Orlando.
Do your part: Vote Mallett. Today, tomorrow and Sunday.
ON THE AIR: This is ESPN, so fans will get the game again in distant locations on ESPN3.
ON THE KEYBOARD: The blog opens from Starkville around 4 p.m. Yes, I have ear plugs.
BUSY BUSY ON-LINE WEEK: Yesterday began a run of seven straight days of live streaming events from the world wide headquarters of the Razorbacks to you our fans. Great numbers last night watched the men’s basketball season opener with Grambling State, and participated in the first ever regular season interactive blog (YES, the blog moves on to hoops). I say regular season because our first ever CoverItLive event was at last year’s SEC men’s tournament.
Tonight in Fayetteville, top-ranked Florida visits Robert Pulliza’s team. The Hogs were on a four-game win streak before a trip-up at top 25 Tennessee. Come out and support the team’s upset bid — and tickets are just $1.
After football Saturday, it’s a double-dip Sunday with volleyball and women’s hoops on RazorVision before three days straight from Walton Arena. We’ll take off Thanksgiving, then back at it for the UAB men’s game at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock and the season finale for football with LSU at War Memorial.
Holidays mean Hogs!