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Posted on Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 5 p.m.

Ryan Mallett still has some 'traditional rivalry hatred' of Ohio State

By Staff


Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett (above) only spent one year at Michigan, but his disdain for Ohio State remains. He'll lead the Razorbacks against Ohio State in the Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl.

AP Photo

By Kurt Voigt AP Sports Writer

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Ryan Mallett spent only one season as a Wolverine, but part of him will always be a Michigan man.

Mallett learned all he needed to know about the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry during that one season. It's a lesson that will be on the quarterback's mind when he leads No. 8 Arkansas (10-2) against the No. 6 Buckeyes (11-1) in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.

"It's going to be a fun game," Mallett said. "It's two great teams. Obviously, I had the traditional rivalry hatred (at Michigan). I've still got a little Michigan in me from that. I've never really been a big fan (of Ohio State)."

Just how deep does that rivalry run for Mallett?

"I don't know if it's something you can say on air or in the paper," Mallett said.

Mallett left Michigan after his freshman season when Rich Rodriguez was hired as the Wolverines' coach, bringing with him an offense that didn't fit the pocket passer. Mallett transferred to his home state to play for Arkansas in coach Bobby Petrino's wide-open offense.

The decision has paid off for Mallett, who redshirted his first season after transferring. In two seasons as the Razorbacks' quarterback, the record-breaking junior has Arkansas in its first BCS bowl game.

Awaiting Mallett next month in New Orleans will an Ohio State team making its sixth straight BCS bowl appearance. The Buckeyes are eager to break an 0-9 mark against the Southeastern Conference in bowl games.

To do it, Ohio State will have to slow down the Razorbacks, who led the conference in passing (338.4 yards per game) this season and averaged 37.3 points per game. Mallett has thrown for 3,592 yards and 30 touchdowns.

"We're very familiar with Ryan Mallett because of course we played against him when he was at the University of Michigan," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "In fact, I was hoping we were done with him when he transferred, and here we are getting him when he's at the height of his career.

"He is a tremendous football player, lightning quick release. Smart as a whip, you can tell just through his numbers the way he's grown into being one of the great, great quarterbacks in all of the country."

Mallett played in 11 games his freshman season at Michigan, throwing seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He played sparingly in the season finale that year against the Buckeyes, finishing 1 of 3 passing for eight yards in a 14-3 home loss.

"The most memorable part for me is it was cold," Mallett said. "It was freezing, sleeting, snowing and raining. I got in there, ran about four plays and that was about it. It was a big game, obviously. Up there, that's a good rivalry and it had some big guys."

While Mallett has faced plenty of questions about facing his old rival, he hasn't brought the subject up with his teammates.

"He hasn't talked about that game one bit," Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams said. "But from a player's standpoint, he's not worried about Michigan playing Ohio State right now, because that's not what we're preparing for right now."

Petrino said Mallett has improved in three years at Arkansas by keeping his emotions under control and preparing well. Those are traits the quarterback will need when he takes the field against his old rival.

"I'm sure that will mean something to him," Petrino said. "Ryan has just matured so much since he's been here. You can't really say enough about the leadership he's given to our football team."


Steve Pepple

Fri, Dec 17, 2010 : 8:47 a.m.

A comment attacking another commenter has been removed.


Thu, Dec 16, 2010 : 7:06 p.m.

I agree with PUMSU about the pro style. And the number of UM players in the pros means nothing. Most of them could have played in the pros playing either system in college. When Michigan's defense got shredded by Appalachian State and Oregon State two weekends in a row, the spread offense looked liked the way to win. Henne/Hart era brought one half Big Ten championship, Michigan's last in '04, 0-4 vs OSU and no Rose Bowl victories. With QBs like Mallet and Henne, the defense does not have to worry about the QB running. A running QB gives a lot more options. The spread is a more productive offense, more yards, more points. There is no proof that a pro style would win more. Pryor at OSU might be in a "pro set" but he is a spread type QB. I guess pro set QBs survive better in the NFL for not getting pounded as much as spread style runners and size, but you pick players for college football, not pro football.


Thu, Dec 16, 2010 : 6:06 p.m.

I wished I would have kept all the negativr posts you so called mich fans posted back when Mallett left. This is what I was talking about. Even some of the posts I see now when you win a game you all don't have that good of things to say about the coaching, the defense, etc, etc.


Thu, Dec 16, 2010 : 12:43 p.m.

Ryan Mallat is going to be one of the best quarterbacks to go 0-2 against the buckeyes.


Thu, Dec 16, 2010 : 8:27 a.m.

Mr. Superbuck, I have been admonished, via deletion, for being too negative toward your earlier post. So I shall kindly ask that you please refain from misquoting and imflaming comments which had not been posted by other users of this site to justify your emotional display. Hope you have a nice day. (Is this better? I hope it is acceptable, thank you.)

Steve Pepple

Thu, Dec 16, 2010 : 8:05 a.m.

A comment personally attacking another commenter has been removed.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 6:08 p.m.

PU, It matters to the recruits!!! Henne came to Mi because of the success of the MI football program in sending qbs to the nfl...really not to hard to understand.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 5:17 p.m.

superbuck "You all called Mallett a loser, crybaby, pc of s--t." No one here called Mallett any of these things, so what are you talking about? One person said that he didn't want to play for a crybaby (RR - duh). Most if not all people who have commented have been complimenting him. Before you comment you should read everything first, and try to at least seem to know what you are talking about. Or better yet, stay on your own OSU blogs and sites.

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 4:53 p.m.

Lorain, I was at the Michigan/Ohio State game in 2007. Mallett did come in for Henne when he went back into the locker room. He threw three passes and completed one of them for 8 yards. He also almost fumbled everytime he touched the ball. Henne had a total of 68 yards in the air, and Hart only ran for 68 on the ground. Maybe Carr didn't have a choice but to lose that game.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 4:36 p.m.

Well here you are again. You all called Mallett a loser, crybaby, pc of s--t. Now he's a Mich man. you all are the biggest bunch of butt heads i have ever seen. Everybody is great when youre winning but now your coach ex players ex coaches are all pcs of crap. what the hell are you going to do if tate or shoestring transfer out.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 4 p.m.

Thanks, Rich, for the clarification on Pat White. Although he was a good college player and was the best QB that RR ever coached at WVU, sounds like he couldn't make it in the NFL and at best was a reserve behind a former U-M pro-style QB who wasn't even the best QB U-M ever produced. @Blu-n_tpa and I-love-Michigan Footnball I couldn't agree with you more. It's really very simple. If you want to be a professional engineer, you try to attend a school with a great engineering reputation. If you are an aspiring doctor, you want to go to a top medical school. By the same token, if you want to be an NFL QB you attend a school that has a reputation for producing NFL QBs. U-M used to be such a school, and as such benefited from the top talent in the country. It created a ripple effect in which the top receivers and lineman wanted to follow where the NFL prospect QB was, and that attracted the great RBs and the list goes on and on. Tom Brady's success in the NFL was one of the best recruiting tools U-M ever had. Sadly, this isn't the case anymore under the current coaching staff and the type of offense they run. However, hopefully like an old politician used to say, "Help is on the way".


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 3:38 p.m.

LS, are you OK? So Coach Carr wanted to lose. Then what would you call showing up in Columbus without a kicking game? I think it would be unwise to badmouth ANY part of LC's coaching career at Michigan. Or is this the knee jerk reaction of someone trying to deflect more recent debacles out of the spotlight? And Mallett may have, and by the tone of the article, did become a Michigan Man is the short amount of time he graced the sidelines at Michigan Stadium. I know of some who can't claim that understanding in 3 years, and yes, you know it too. Hopefully the present QBs will also understand that feeling.

Lorain Steelmen

Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 3:15 p.m.

Excuse me, but what would Mallet know about the UM-OSU rivalry? In 2007, Carr played Henne against OSU instead of Mallet, although Henne was injured, and could barely raise his arm above his shoulder. Apparently, LC figured it was better to lose, (again), with a senior, than to possibly win with a freshman.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 2:23 p.m.

Once again I'm at odds with PU. UM's job is to shape and improve all of its students to go out from the University and thrive. The history of success of those former Michigan players moving on to the next level encourages the next class of incoming freshmen to obtain their goals. US News and World Report tracks how successful Michigan is at preparing it's students and ranks it's graduate schools compared to other great universities. It wouldn't consistently be ranked as one of the best land grant centers of higher learning if it's record of success was to dip. UM hockey team is a good example. It recruits very well because it has a solid record of moving it's player upward, either at hockey or in the other world. It's a proven fact, not an opinion or a guess, that the most successful college programs place players in the pros. Some have so much talent that it wouldn't matter where they played. Others are coached "up", exceeding their own expectations. Some don't reach their potential, and when that happens other schools use that against Michigan to garner more of the higher ranked high schoolers. So to say you don't care if a player succeed in the pros is cutting off your nose to spite yourself. Let's put it this way: Coach Blue goes into a 4-5 star players house. Sits down, looks the player and his parents in the eye and says, "I don't care if you or any player ever plays in the pros, but come to Michigan anyway." How do you think that would work?


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 1:40 p.m.

here are some "misguided" comments & stats in a report about the NFL draft between 1988-2007: - At some colleges, the number of draft picks increase when a new coach starts. Virginia Tech with Frank Beamer, Southern California with Pete Carroll and Ohio State with Jim Tressel fit that profile. The results are on the field, too. Since Carroll took over, the Trojans have played in two Bowl Championship Series title games, winning in 2005. Tressel's Buckeyes are three-time BCS title game participants and winners in 2002. Under Beamer, Virginia Tech has played in three BCS bowl games, including the 1999 title game. - Ohio State averaged 8 1/2 wins and 4.9 draft picks per year in the 13 seasons before Jim Tressel became head coach in 2001. Since Tressel took over, the Buckeyes have averaged 10.4 wins and 7.8 draft picks a year. Recruiting is key, and while Tressel says "I don't know if we are doing anything magical," he concedes his staff might devote more time evaluating recruits than some schools. Interesting that it mentions new coaches too.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 1:40 p.m.

If you look at the number of kids who move on to the next level, even in those "glory days" of a pro-style offense, the number is very small, especially when held up to the number of kids who came through the program. The overwhelming majority of college athletes don't go pro, and one of the jobs of a coach is to make sure those kids are ready to make a move to the next step in life, one that does not include football. Look at Dave Brandon, who was a player under Bo. He was not some NFL prospect, but I'm sure the years spent on the team impacted his life greatly, and were one of the reasons he became a CEO of a major company. It is more important to me to see our team win the right way, to be a cut above the rest off the field, than to see us send people to the League. Look at Nick Saban at Alabama. He sends a number of kids to the NFL each year, but his win at all costs mentality and his blatant disregard for the futures of the kids he recruits is disgusting.

beanie wells

Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 12:57 p.m.

@PU MSU: "There seems to be a misguided theory that you need to have NFL talent to be good in college football. That couldn't be more inaccurate." hmmmm... that is only kind of true. do you NEED nfl talent to "succeed" at the college level, no. BUT, is it a coincidence that the top programs regularly send the most players on to the next level? so while you CAN win without the best talent, isn't it funny how the AMOUNT of winning is very correlated with amount and level of talent on your team. maybe i'm just misguided, as you say.

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : noon

p u, you honestly can say you don't care if Michigan players go to the NFL? Wow. That is a perfect example of what the Rich Rod era has become. Rich Rod lovers just want to win and have no integrity on sending kids to the next level. I myself enjoy seeing Tom Brady ripping defenses apart and the Lamar Woodley's still eating up offenses. How can someone be a true Michigan Wolverine and have no pride in sending young men to the NFL. Amazing. list of the current NFL players, not including free agents: Adrian Arrington: New Orleans Saints Jason Avant: Philadelphia Eagles David Baas: San Francisco 49ers Jeff Backus: Detroit Lions Tom Brady: New England Patriots Alan Branch: Arizona Cardinals Steve Breaston: Arizona Cardinals Carlos Brown Tampa Bay Buccaneers Stevie Brown: Oakland Raiders Prescott Burgess: Baltimore Ravens Carson Butler: New England Patriots Todd Collins: Chicago Bears Shawn Crable: New York Jets Braylon Edwards: New York Jets Jay Feely: Arizona Cardinals Larry Foote: Pittsburgh Steelers Jonathan Goodwin: New Orleans Saints Brandon Graham: Philadelphia Eagles James Hall: St. Louis Rams Leon Hall: Cincinnati Bengals Mike Hart: Indianapolis Colts David Harris: New York Jets Chad Henne: Miami Dolphins Steve Hutchinson: Minnesota Vikings Marlin Jackson: Philadelphia Eagles Tim Jamison: Houston Texans Dhani Jones: Cincinnati Bengals Jake Long: Miami Dolphins Mario Manningham: New York Giants Greg Mathews: St. Louis Rams Zoltan Mesko: New England Patriots Brandon Minor: Indianapolis Colts Ryan Mundy: Pittsburgh Steelers Morgan Trent: Cincinnati Bengals Gabe Watson: Arizona Cardinals LaMarr Woodley: Pittsburgh Steelers Pierre Woods: Buffalo Bills Charles Woodson: Green Bay Packers

Sean T.

Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 11:14 a.m.

I know that Mallett's transferring is in the past, but his statement in this article seems that he should be playing in Maize and Blue.

Sean T.

Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 10:58 a.m.

PU MSU, I have to agree with you that it only matters if Michigan wins, but It certainly doesn't hurt to know that the talent we produce is top quality. Plus, I root on Saturday and Sunday!


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 10:21 a.m.

I don't really care if Michigan players go to the NFL. So long as Michigan wins, it wouldn't matter to me if a single player made it to the NFL. There seems to be a misguided theory that you need to have NFL talent to be good in college football. That couldn't be more inaccurate.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 9:22 a.m.

I heard Mallett didn't want to play for a cry baby.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 9:15 a.m.

Should have sent RichRod to UArk and kept Mallett. When Mallett goes to the NFL he will end the line of QBs that started a game at Michigan and went on to the pros, dating back to Harbaugh. I think Driesbach had a longer NFL career than Pat White. I'm not bad mouthing PW, he was a great college QB. He might be the single most important factor in RR getting hired at Michigan. But he didn't play in the B1G TEN and he had a better running game around him. And, apparently a better defense and special teams. Like the FL AD said, the coach has to be a good fit us, the team, who we are AND we have to be a good fit for him. I can almost feel Jeremy Foley's eyes looking north when he said it. Go Blue!


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 9 a.m.

Fellas, good posts.

I love Michigan Football

Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 8:53 a.m.

When watching College Football Live yesterday they mentioned that Will Muschamp is looking for an offensive coordinator to turn Florida back into a pro-style offense. I found this to be very interesting. The topic was that you can make it to the pros in a spread offense, but it is getting harder and harder to do so. Jesse Palmer was saying how it is hard for kids to transition to the NFL after being in a spread offense from high school all the way through college. It was also brought up how NFL scouts are starting to go back to more schools that run a pro-style than the spread. This is why I feel that David Brandon is going to bring in Harbaugh as soon as possible. Jimmy will be hired to turn Michigan back into the powerhouse pro-style football team that gets back to sending young men to NFL. Parents and kids know that Jim played in the league for 15 years, has a brother that coaches in the league, and can go into their living rooms and sell that he can make them NFL ready. Michigan has always had pride sending young men to the next level, and it's time we get back to doing so.


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 3:38 a.m.

Yeah, I saw this article about a week ago, maybe?


Wed, Dec 15, 2010 : 12:15 a.m.

This article just goes to demonstrate how stupid RR was/is. A guy that will probably be one of the 1st two QB's chosen in the draft, was not a good fit for RR's offense. It just seems to me that you work with the talent you have and make the best of it. But no, RR the genius couldn't make that fit. We never woulda had losing seasons if Mallett stays, RR you forsaked the program because of your stuborness. I can't wait for you to be gone! I hope Mallett destroy's the Buckeyes, then we would know what it would have felt like if Mallett had stayed.

3 And Out

Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 11:46 p.m.

A recent trend in recruiting has been for pro style teams to snatch up the best talent, in preparing them for the NFL, while traditional spread teams and 335 defensive teams scramble for lower level, smaller recruits and try to recruit 'speed' though most of those players are not really that fast. Hopefully the new hire in January will bring back a pro style approach to Michigan football and NFL type talent to come back to considering Michigan Football. Go Blue.


Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 11:45 p.m.

Rich Rod could learn something about rivalry games from Mallet.Harbaugh come home.


Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 7:42 p.m.

I was angry at Mallett for leaving U-M but it is obvious he made the right decision and I hope he has a good game against Ohio State. Mallett will be a high first round pick in the NFL draft and represents the quality pro-style QBs that used to pass through Ann Arbor under Lloyd Carr, including Brian Griese, Tom Brady, Chad Henne, and would have included Ryan Mallett if a coach with a similar offensive philosophy was there. Players like Mallett and Henne wanted to come to U-M in large part because they knew U-M was known as a pro-style QB school and they were attracted by that. Under RR, that pipeline was broken in favor of QBs like Denard Robinson, who is more of a runner than a passer. He is of the same mold as Pat White, who is the best QB that RR ever produced and who is now a backup on the Dolphins for -- you guessed it -- Chad Henne. Go figure.


Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 7:19 p.m.

I wish Mallett had stayed, but it's good he's playing against he hated Buckeyes. I hope he does well. Normally I root for the Big Ten. But, in this case I'll make an exception. @15crown00: at least make sense. Your comment doesn't even use grammar the rest of us can understand.


Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 6:31 p.m.

wasn't good enough for steel rod brain though.


Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 5:57 p.m.

I hope Ryan throws for 500 yards and Arkansas beats the snot out of OSU!!!!!!