The Razorbacks are on fire, and Ryan Mallett was the match that struck it.
Mallett completed 23 of 30 passes for 405 yards and broke or met five separate Arkansas offensive records.
That's quite the résumé for the redshirt sophomore from Texarkana.
The Hogs are now, as predicted, bowl eligible for the first time under Bobby Petrino.
Two games remain in the regular season, both in-conference games against SEC rivals. The Hogs will face Mississippi State at Little Rock this weekend, followed the following week by the Battle for the Golden Boot at Baton Rouge against the Bayou Bengals.
Arkansas has certainly shown improvement from last year, as is evidenced by their statistics. They are eighth in the nation in passing yardage, with Mallett third in the nation amongst all quarterbacks. They rank 14th in the nation in total offense. We're first in the conference in QB rating, passing yards, and scoring offense.
This is a far cry from the run-heavy Razorbacks of the Houston Nutt era. With Petrino putting Mallett at the head of an offensive juggernaut of a team, the Razorbacks are a force to be reckoned with.
The season, however, isn't over. If the Razorbacks win out, they're looking at a bid to a respectable bowl. More importantly, we are a very, very young team. Expect even better results next year.
Arkansas has had some disappointing losses this year to Georgia, Ole Miss, Florida, and Alabama. You have to consider, though, that we were two missed field goals away from tanking the Gators' national championship hopes, and we have, according to ESPN, the third hardest schedule in the nation.
Next year looks to fall along those same lines, but there's going to be a whole different attitude in the SEC when the Razorbacks come to town. This year has produced great things, with immaturity and youth on the team fudging a couple of should-win games.
Next year, our foes will not be so lucky.
Look for the Razorbacks to finish strong this season and arrive at a respectable bowl game, hopefully the Cotton Bowl. Look for Ryan Mallett to be at the top of everyone's Heisman watch list this offseason, and look for the long overdue emergence of a football powerhouse with Petrino and his wild Razorback hogs.
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