Too often, scandals like the ones at the University of Miami or Ohio State or USC overshadow the positive aspects of college athletics. The Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the top senior quarterback — as qualified by academic year — by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation, encapsulates all that is good in college sports. The award acknowledges performance on the field, for sure. However, it goes beyond completion percentage and touchdown passes. The Golden Arm Award rewards character, citizenship, integrity and those who honor the game.
Athlon Sports is proud to partner with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Foundation in sponsoring this award in 2011.
Three Golden Arm Award candidates post big performances this week.
Andrew Luck, Stanford
Andrew Luck, a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, led the Cardinal to a 28-14 win over Notre Dame and completed a 11-1 regular season, likely good enough to put Stanford in a BCS bowl for the second consecutive season.
In the win over the Irish, Luck tossed four touchdown passes giving him 80 for his career, breaking the school record of 77 set by John Elway. It took Luck just three seasons to surpass what Elway did in four. Luck now owns every major passing record at Stanford.
Luck completed 20 of his 30 passes for 233 yards leading the Cardinal to a 21-0 halftime lead.
Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Even though Robert Griffin III, a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist, missed the second half with a concussion, the dual threat scored two rushing touchdowns and passed for another as the Baylor Bears trounced Texas Tech, 66-42.
Griffin connected with Kendall Wright on a 33-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, then scored on runs of four and three yards before leaving the game late in the second quarter.
After running around the right side for a first down on third-and-six to the Tech five-yard line, a late hit on Griffin knocked the quarterback out with 2:19 left in the half.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
In a game played in 30-40 mph winds, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award finalist Landry Jones struggled with his accuracy, but he and his fellow Sooners stormed the Iowa State Cyclones 26-6 at Norman.
Jones completed just 22 of his 43 throws, but led the Sooners to a 23-6 halftime lead before weather conditions thwarted both offenses in the second half.
Jones threw for 256 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.