Commentary

Arkansas' offense better minus Mallett

The Razorbacks are losing Ryan Mallett, but Tyler Wilson will lead an improved unit

Updated: April 14, 2011, 12:02 PM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Ryan MallettPaul Abell/US PresswireRyan Mallett had a great career for Arkansas, but he is far from irreplaceable.

There are few offseason tasks more daunting in college football than replacing a star quarterback.

For example, take the Florida Gators following the 1992 season. Then-coach Steve Spurrier was faced with having to replace graduated three-year starting quarterback Shane Matthews, a QB who had helped set team records in points per game, passing touchdowns and passing yards.

It seemed logical to expect that there would be a short lull before the offense reached those record-setting levels once again, but the truth was the Gators actually were on the verge of seeing new heights of offensive prowess. Freshman Danny Wuerffel led the team to records in each of the three aforementioned statistical categories in 1993 and eventually broke all of those marks again during his four-year starting stint.

That situation bears a lot of similarity to the one currently faced by the Arkansas Razorbacks. Last year the Hogs set 48 individual or team records, most of which were credited to star junior quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Mallett's departure for the NFL draft may have some thinking the Arkansas offense is going to have to take a step backward this season under new starter Tyler Wilson, but there are numerous signs that point toward Wilson engineering an offense in 2011 that is even better than the Mallett-led unit of 2010.


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