Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Davey O'Brien Foundation named their quarterback of the week today; it's Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett, and deservedly so:
Junior Ryan Mallett has been named the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week after leading his team to a dramatic 31-24 road victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.
After getting off to an early start, Mallett found himself under pressure late in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs rallied from a 24-10 deficit to tie the game with 3:55 left to play. He remained calm and collected, marching his team down the field with a three-play, 73-yard scoring drive that ended with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Greg Childs with 15 seconds remaining. The signal caller from Texarkana, Texas finished the game with 380 yards and three touchdowns on 21 completions.
"This is a really surreal feeling," Mallett said after the game. "This is something I've never experienced before. This has got to be one of the greatest moments I've felt since I've played the game of football. It so rarely comes down to the wire like this. It's sometimes gone the other way for us, but now I know how it feels to get the win."
Mallett beats out 11 other notable peformers, such as Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, Arizona's Nick Foles, and Michigan's Denard Robinson.
Mallett's selection is merited simply because of the game-winning drive, which essentially came out of nowhere. The writeup above doesn't do Mallett's performance justice; Arkansas and Georgia traded punts after the Bulldogs tied the game, so Mallett's game-winning drive didn't start until there was about a minute left on the clock. Most teams, given the ball at their own 27 with 47 seconds left and a tie game, would simply kneel and take the game to overtime. Not Arkansas, and not Mallett, and they've got a win to show for it.
It should be noted, of course, that Mallett wasn't the only quarterback that led a game-winning drive in such a scenario; Foles drove his Wildcats for the win with under four minutes to play after the Iowa Hawkeyes scored 20 straight points to tie their score at 27-27. The difference, of course, is that Iowa tied the game when defensive lineman Broderick Binns picked off a Foles pass and took it 20 yards for a touchdown. Giving up a game-tying 20-yard fat guy touchdown is an automatic disqualifier for O'Brien POTW status. Sorry, but it's science.