Mallett, the Arkansas quarterback famous for his rifle arm, lobbed it over defensive ends, in front of safeties and in between linebackers.
Finally, we saw in Mallett the touch that Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino preaches and demands from his signal callers. Mallett was brilliant in a 23 of 27 passing performance that included seven strikes to tight end D. J. Williams and five more completions to three running backs. Those 11 completions accounted for 188 yards.
"I thought Ryan played well, real patient, his best game," Petrino said. "He did a great job of staying calm and he played well.
"D. J. Williams made some great plays. South Carolina was dropping deep. Ryan checked down to him. We did call some plays to him, but some of them were checks. They played high coverage and challenged our patience."
Some of them didn't even have Williams in the pass route.
Mallett didn't get any touchdown passes, but that was fine.
"SEC wins, that's what it's all about," he said. "They came in here with the No. 3 pass defense in the nation, but we knew we were going to throw on them. Today, we beat them on third down. We needed that and the score reflects it."
Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said it was a matter of Mallett letting his receivers make plays.
"He took what they gave him," Petrino said. "It was his best game. And, some guys with skills made plays for him. You look at the guys around him, they played well today."
Petrino pointed to a leaping catch in traffic from London Crawford for a first down when Carolina led 16-10 in the third quarter.
"That was a big-time play from London," he said. "Ryan threw it up for him and he went and got it. Some other guys did that and D. J. caught everything.
"Ryan's accuracy has improved all year. A lot of people forget he's just a sophomore. The more he plays, the more his confidence goes up, the more he understands the offense.
"South Carolina came in here with the safeties deep. They didn't want to give up the big plays. They tried to take away our deep stuff and the play-action, so we went underneath and Ryan did a wonderful job."
Williams was ready. It didn't take him long to see he'd be in the action.
"On the first play, you see the safeties are 12 yards deep," he said. "That gives me the middle and the outside. You know you are going to have one man to work against and it's you against him. You just have to beat him."
He chuckled about some of the stories he's heard on campus when he's not gotten as many touches as last year.
"Some said Ryan hated me," he said. "Others said we weren't on the same page. It's just the offense.
"I knew sometimes I was in the game plan because of the way the other team plays, sometimes I'm required to block more. The satisfaction was that I had made some blocks to give some other guys big plays. I was fine doing that."
Quarterback and tight end were on the same page against Carolina.
"Ryan and I were seeing the same things (on third down)," Williams said. "Their defensive backs were back and they were blitzing the linebackers up the middle. I got out and made some plays."
Paul Petrino said, "I'm been telling you, D. J. is a better all-around player now. We did probably have him in the plan a little more today and then it just developed into more. With what they did against us, we went to some of the things -- a few option routes -- that we ran last year."
Bobby Petrino liked everything he saw -- except his own call for a fake punt. He saw a team respond to his challenge early in what was obviously a big week.
"I called it a big game," he said. "I wanted to do that and see how they would respond. I wanted to see how they took the challenge, how they stepped up in preparation and got ready."
Defensively, coordinator Willy Robinson said the Hogs changed up their package throughout the game. Some of it had to do with South Carolina secondary coach Lorenzo Ward's knowledge of their system.
"Lo Ward knows us pretty good, so we went away from some things that we like," Robinson said. "And, we completely went away from our 30 look in the second half. We knew they would be in there at halftime on the board drawing things against (the three man rush) and we went to the 40. We just saved some things for them in the second half."
And, they dusted off the cornerback with the best ball skills for a big play and a punt return, two huge plays. Jerell Norton intercepted a Jeff Garcia jump ball in the end zone after Carolina reached the UA 25-yard line. He also returned a punt 38 yards to setup a touchdown. He was one of the few Razorbacks not to play against Eastern Michigan, an unspecified in-house suspension.
"Jerell had a great week of practice," Robinson said. "We needed some help at the field corner. We thought about moving Rudell Crim from the boundary, but we didn't think Ramon Broadway was quite healthy. Jerell has great ball recognition. He almost had another interception when he jumped a route."
Mallett was never close to an interception in what came close to a near flawless day for the Hogs. They had no turnovers, only one penalty.
There was only one mistake, a fake punt that backfired to give Carolina a short field for their only touchdown in the first half. It was an impatient decision on a day when the Hogs rode Ryan Mallett's patience.