Mallet, Locker and Luck: Elite competitors who must respond

The third week of college football was one of “Little

Giants” (the name of Michigan State’s fake field goal

against Notre Dame), blowout victories (Alabama, Ohio State, Boise

State, TCU and Oregon) and breakout wins (Arizona over Iowa) but

above all else it proved to us that each week teams and players

create moments where they are challenged to either surpass those

previous performances or respond from dismal ones the following

week. And in the arena of college football, the competitors we

watch every Saturday yearn for the challenge of maintaining success

or responding to adversity. Three games into 2010, three stud

quarterbacks are facing those challenges.

Arkansas quarterback

Ryan Mallet threw for 380 yards and led the

Razorbacks on the game-winning drive at Georgia with fifteen

seconds remaining to get his first road win as a starter. While he

is the talk of the nation right now, his performance this weekend

against Alabama has a chance to cement him as a Heisman candidate

and move his team into the national title race.

Mallet’s goal: Play aggressive vs Alabama

while playing within Bobby Petrino’s system. If he does that,

he will prove he is worthy of being considered one of the nations

elite signal callers.

Jake Locker, a Heisman candidate and potential

number one draft choice had one of his worst games going 4-20 for

71 yards and two interceptions in a blowout home loss to Nebraska.

While Husky fans around the nation are shocked, rivals are calling

his pre-season hype just that, and experts are telling us how much

his draft stock has fallen, I’ll disagree.

Look for Locker to respond with more efficient play, more

accurate passes and a competitive spirit that vaults him back into

the national discussion by the end of the season.

Locker’s goal: Compete to win each snap

by letting the offense flow through him instead of being forced by

him.

Stanford’s rock-star

Andrew Luck is coming off a 5-touchdown

performance against Wake Forest in Palo Alto last Saturday night.

His squad is 3-0 and with Locker’s recent struggles and the

Pac-10 being wide open, the next three weeks are vital for him as

he tries to maintain his high level of play at Notre Dame, at

Oregon and home against USC.

Luck’s goal: Elevate his performance in

big games by allowing the progression of each play to dictate where

his passes go instead of forcing the ball on the national

stage.

Mallet, Locker and Luck have to either maintain their level

of play, respond from a poor performance or elevate their game.

Look for all three young men to respond as only elite

performers can, because what great quarterbacks do can be summed up

in a single word—compete.

 

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