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Petrino and Mallett Make Hogs Top 10 Material

Ryan Mallett could lead Arkansas to their best season Ryan Mallett could lead Arkansas to their best season

It hasn't often been the case in recent history that the University of Arkansas Razorbacks were a force to be reckoned with in college football, but 2010 represents another step forward in the new era of Hogs football. Head coach Bobby Petrino is a big part of the program’s ascension in the NCAA ranks, but having a star quarterback like Ryan Mallett hasn’t hurt either.

In Arkansas’s first three games, Mallett has averaged 360 passing yards per game, throwing three touchdowns in each to boot. No wonder the Hogs are off to a 3-0 start and ranked #10 on the AP Poll.

Mallett has a few dangerous receivers to target on the Razorbacks roster, Greg Childs and Joe Adams chief among them. Adams has 15 receptions on the young season for 344 yards and two touchdowns, while Childs has caught 19 balls (including 12 in a single game) for 254 yards and three touchdowns.

Arkansas’s passing game will have to remain extremely potent to compete in the perennially strong SEC, which is stacked as usual in 2010. Alabama, Florida, Auburn, and LSU are all currently ranked in the top 25, and the Razorbacks will face all but Florida among them this season.

In fact, the Razorbacks’ next game represents the most difficult day on their schedule as they take on the #1 University of Alabama Crimson Tide.

Petrino will have to establish more of a running game than his team has shown so far this season if they want to keep Alabama guessing. If the Hogs can’t do that, then the pressure for Mallett and the passing game to produce against a secondary that is unafraid of the rush will be too much to overcome.

However, the good news is the performance of the Arkansas defense. In this year’s tilt with Georgia, the Hog defense racked up six sacks. That kind of dominance will definitely be an asset as the season rolls along. But things won’t be so easy against Alabama. Nevertheless, it’s a great opportunity for Arkansas to take the season by the horns on home turf.

Bobby Petrino’s NFL stint may have been a bust, but the Arkansas coach seems built for college football. Having gifted athletes like Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett on his squad helps make his job easier, but in football, scheming is nearly as important as execution. In that case, the Hogs are in good hands as they vie for SEC supremacy against some of the NCAA’s toughest teams in 2010.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 10:26

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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