By Patrick Crawford
Arkansas Media Relations
Ryan Mallett is naturally a perfectionist. Most quarterbacks tend to be. His position is often times the most scrutinized on the field. As the Arkansas football team marches through the 2010 season, its 6-6, 238-pound signal caller is all about being flawless. But for Mallett, the stellar football games and rounds of pristine offensive execution are possible because of the standard he has set.
Mallett’s numbers have indeed been staggering. Thus far in his junior season, he’s thrown for 2,040 yards and 15 touchdown passes. His 2010 effort is just the ninth 2,000-yard passing season in school history.
Mallett is at the helm of head coach Bobby Petrino’s impressive offensive attack. UA averages 477.7 yards of total offense per game to rank second in the Southeastern Conference and 12th nationally. The system is benefited by Arkansas’ exceptional group of wide receivers. Fans across the state have seen the high-flying exploits of juniors Greg Childs, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright. Along with tight end D.J. Williams and sophomore receiver Cobi Hamilton, Mallett hasn’t been short of throwing options.
“It’s not hard to decide who to throw the ball to, because you throw it to whoever is open and you know they can go score at any time,” Mallett said. “That’s what makes playing in this offense so fun.”
As the Razorbacks continue in their bid to reach a second consecutive postseason bowl game, Mallett has seen the team improve thanks to head coach Bobby Petrino’s methods.
“Coach Petrino is a technician,” Mallett said. “Even when he is breaking down film, he’s got a way of doing it.”
Mallett went on to explain that Coach Petrino’s support has always been helpful in getting the job done.
“I feel like he has the confidence in me that I’m going to take care of my business,” Mallett said. “I’m going to lead the team like I’m supposed to.”
Mallett is set to play in his second Homecoming game as a Razorback, causing the Arkansas signal caller to reflect on his decision of forgoing an early jump to the National Football League. The life-long Arkansas fan from Texarkana, Mallett felt he had unfinished business at UA.
“Looking back, I knew I owed it to this state,” Mallett said. “They let me come back and transfer to Arkansas.”
The state of Arkansas has certainly been glad to see Mallett, showing up in record numbers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium to watch Razorback football. UA drew a record 150,427 total fans to consecutive games against Alabama and Ole Miss. The 12th largest crowd in stadium history (73,619) was on hand for the 38-24 victory over Ole Miss.
Mallett and the Razorbacks, standing with a 5-2 overall record and 2-2 mark in the Southeastern Conference, reopen Arkansas’ Homecoming tradition against Vanderbilt. For Mallett, it’ll be another opportunity to compete for a Razorback fan base that he knows very well.