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.
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
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
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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