Ryan Mallett's first game in Fayetteville won't soon be forgotten though the outcome was regrettable.
The redshirt sophomore quarterback showed off his rocket right arm in front of a national TV audience Saturday by passing for school records of 408 yards and five touchdowns. It was his inefficiency in the fourth quarter of a 52-41 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs that rained on his parade.
"It's nice (to set the records) I guess, but it doesn't matter," Mallett said. "I don't care about individual stats. We lost the game; that's all that matters."
After a three-and-out to start the game, Mallett looked almost unstoppable in the rest of the first quarter. The Texarkana-native had touchdown strikes of 18, 48 and 30 yards in the first 15 minutes as the Razorbacks raced to a 21-10 lead.
After Georgia controlled the ball for the bulk of the second quarter Mallett came back with guns blazing after halftime, tossing two more scores in the nip-and-tuck third quarter. But just when it looked liked the last offense with the ball last would win, Arkansas' stalled in the red zone – twice.
While Bulldog quarterback Joe Cox continued to toss touchdowns, Arkansas settled for field goals. Mallett attributed it to sloppiness on his part.
"I lost my technique," Mallett said. "My rhythm was off (in the fourth quarter) and that made me miss some passes. I can't let that happen again."
Mallett completed only one of his final 10 passes after starting the game red-hot. He had 161 passing yards by the end of the first quarter and was breathing down the neck of Clint Stoerner's old school-record for passing yards for what seemed like an eternity.
Even though the final score smiled on the opponent, the Razorbacks took positives from their quarterback's performance in his first SEC contest.
"Ryan gave us a chance to win the game today," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "He prepared all week and the week before really well. He obviously showed that he can throw the ball well and he showed that he could make some plays."
While Mallett was sharp for much of the night, Arkansas' receivers dazzled as well.
Both Greg Childs (5 rec., 140 yards, 2 TDs) and Jarius Wright (4 rec., 108 yards, 1 TD) eclipsed the century mark. That was with a pair of Razorbacks – London Crawford and Lucas Miller – missing from the receiving corps with injuries.
"They are playmakers and they showed that time and again tonight," Mallett said. "They made great plays when I got the ball anywhere near them. They had a great game."
Childs had a diving touchdown catch of 30 yards in the first quarter and outran a defender for a 40-yard score in the third.
"We work on making touch catches every day in practice," Childs said. "It's nothing new to us."
Tough Finish for Mallett
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Spring Countdown: SafetiesWith the Razorbacks closing in on spring football, HawgsDaily is breaking down who we believe Arkansas' starters are at all 22 positions. We'll reveal a portion of the starting…
Hawgs Daily1:22 PM
New assistants have questions to answerArkansas has almost an entirely new defensive coaching staff. It will be tasked with answering several questions this spring.
Hawgs Daily1:06 PM
State Senate addresses bad officiatingIt's safe to say Arkansas fans are still upset about the officiating in the Arkansas-North Carolina game.
Hawgs Daily9:42 AM
Arkansas 5, New Orleans 2Arkansas capped its 11-game homestand with a win over New Orleans on Wednesday.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 9:10 PM
Spring Countdown: OTsWith the Razorbacks closing in on spring football, HawgsDaily is breaking down who we believe Arkansas' starters are at all 22 positions. We'll reveal a portion of the starting…
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 11:55 AM