Late in the third quarter, with Arkansas well in front, the Razorbacks faced a third-down and goal inside the five. Quarterback Ryan Mallett took the snap and was flushed to his left. With the play breaking down, instead of taking a sack or throwing the ball away, Mallett stepped up and headed for the goal line lunging forward and reaching the ball over the goal line.
Was this a new look for the 6-foot-7 quarterback? Mallett showed the guts of a player who wanted to win badly. Only one thing mattered, and that was getting to the goal line. Even though the play was called back on a penalty, it was a sign of what is to come for this Razorback football team.
The Razorbacks encountered plenty of fight from the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech, and, after trailing early, scored 44 unanswered points to get the win, 44-3. Much of the reason was the play of the much-heralded quarterback from Texarkanna.
Mallett finished the game 21-for-23 and 301 yards passing with three touchdowns and one interception. The high percentage is a new wrinkle in Mallett's game.
For his career, Mallet has a 53% completion percentage, but in this one game, Mallett completed 87.5% of his passes. Mallett showed the poise and patience to pass to his "check-down" receivers such as Senior All-American D.J. Williams. The result led to a higher percentage and kept the Hogs moving down the field.
Mallett still showed his ability to hit the deep pass, but tonight, he showed that he has the patience to let the game come to him, and with his receivers, a short pass can lead to a long touchdown pass.