As it turns out, the foot injury suffered by Ryan Mallett isn’t all that shocking of a development as it seemed at first blush.
The Arkansas quarterback broke his foot — a toe on his left foot, to be specific — during winter conditioning drills last month. He will miss spring practice after having surgery to insert a screw, but is expected to be 100-percent healthy for the start of summer camp.
And, according to head coach Bobby Petrino, the foot Mallett injured in February is the same one he tweaked twice before and during the 2009 season.
Mallett injured the foot in August, then injured the outside of the same foot during the run-up to the Razorbacks’ bowl game. Petrino seemed to indicate that those two incidents played a role in the latest injury.
“There was some stress involved when it finally did break,” Petrino said according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “And we’re lucky it happened now. We’re lucky it happened in the winter, when he’s got plenty of time to get the screw put in and heal properly.”
Not only is Mallett dealing with the foot thing, but he also underwent surgery in January to repair a tear in his non-throwing shoulder. Petrino said that injury “is just about healed up and ready to go. Now it’s just a matter of getting the foot back.”
Mallett, who gave serious consideration to making himself available for the 2010 draft, is being looked at as a potential candidate for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
If the rocket-armed QB can stay healthy, that is.
Oregon touched the ball 15 times in its 41-24 win over Colorado on Saturday night. Jeff Lockie played seven of them, including the first. Taylor Alie played eight.
As long as Vernon Adams nurses his broken finger, this appears to be the plan for the Ducks.
“They’d both done enough good things in practice last week to merit playing,” head coach Mark Helfrich told the Oregonian. “We just felt looking at the game plan we could parcel out aspects with each.”
“Of course you want to get into a better rhythm but that’s how it goes,” Lockie said. “We’re just going to play the best we can and as long as we’re winning games, there’s no problem with me.”
Lockie completed 8-of-11 throws for 54 yards with an interception while rushing five times for 18 yards. Alie connected on 4-of-9 throws for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 yards on five carries. Not quite Marcus Mariota numbers from either signal caller.
“It’ll just depend on the game plan,” Helfrich said of Alie and Lockie. “I think those guys they have differences. There are some strengths and weaknesses to different areas of their game and so we’ll think about that going forward of just how the Washington State game plan comes out.”
With Oregon playing Washington and Washington State (combined Pac-12 wins thus far: zero) before a tough closing stretch, Helfrich and company have time to alternate signal callers.
The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.
Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.
And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.
That group breaks down as follows:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:
- Ohio State
- Boise State
Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.
None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.