Hogs Begin Intense Practice For Gamecocks

FAYETTEVILLE -- With the starting quarterback issue settled -- true freshman Casey Dick was named the starter Sunday -- Arkansas began its intense practice Tuesday for its Southeastern Conference game against South Carolina on Saturday.

It worked for almost two hours outside, then moved inside to the Willard and Pat Walker Pavilion for the final 30 minutes.

"We had a good work day and the guys came to work with their hard hats on," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "They really gave it to us and that's how you prepare.

"We have to have another one just like that tomorrow (today)."

Arkansas (2-5 overall, 0-4 in the SEC) is preparing to face a South Carolina (5-3, 3-3) team that is coming off a 16-15 road win at then-No. 23 Tennessee, extending its SEC winning streak to three straight.

"We're facing a team that has a lot of confidence right now," Nutt said. "They're playing at a high level. All you have to do is watch that Tennessee film and you see that."

Nutt said his new starting quarterback was given about 90 percent of the snaps on Tuesday and said he has been pleased with his development and expects him to keep learning more as the week progresses.

"He had a good day," Nutt said. "We put a couple things on him and he is figuring them out on the run and he'll be better tomorrow.

"This was really his first full practice where he got 90 percent of the reps, so he'll be a little sore. The one thing he has done is he has carried himself in a good manner and his instincts have been really good.

"We just want him to keep doing that."

Waiting In The Wings
Dick, who's from Allen, Texas, has yet to play this season. He is off limits to the media the rest of the week.

So, where does that leave some of the other quarterbacks?

Well, Alex Mortensen --a redshirt freshman -- was one of the last players to leave the practice field Tuesday.

"I think everyone has handled it well," Mortensen said. "We're excited for Casey. We want to see him do well and we want to see the team do well.

"Ultimately, I want to see us win. That's how its been from day one. I want the Razorbacks to win games. We have an opportunity to do that these last few weeks.

"Part of being able to win games is being prepared and ready."

Robert Johnson, a sophomore from Waco, Texas, started the first seven games of the season. At the moment, he's the No. 2 quarterback.

How's he taking it?

"I understand it," Johnson said. "When you're a starting quarterback you get a lot of blame or you get a lot of credit. You just got to keep your head up, you know.

"Just got to stay ready. Anything can happen. I feel good. You have to stay positive. We just want to win right now. We just want to win."

Those quarterbacks found out about the quarterback switch on Sunday afternoon, just before practice.

"Coach (Roy) Wittke (Hogs quarterbacks coach) addressed us," Mortensen said. "So you know, you gotta be ready. That's the bottom line.

"From day one, no matter where you are on the depth chart. You know, you want to be ready to play. That's my objective right now. If that means staying after (practice), that's what I'm going to do."

Facing A Legend
Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring said his team is excited about facing South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.

Spurrier posted a 122-27-1 record at Florida (1990-2001), including a national championship (1996), before returning to the Southeastern Conference this season.

Spurrier spent two years with the Washington Redskins (2002 and 2003) before taking over at South Carolina this year.

"He's a legend in coaching in college football," Herring said. "He obviously is one of the best offensive coaches that's ever coached the game.

"To be honest with you, we're looking forward to playing against him. Looking forward to see where we are right now."

Hobbled Hogs
Arkansas linebacker Clarke Moore and offensive lineman Chase Pressley missed Tuesday's practice with injuries.

On The Tube
Saturday's Arkansas-South Carolina game in Reynolds Razorback Stadium is scheduled to be televised.

It's scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday and will be broadcast on Jefferson-Pilot (Cable channel 7).

Arkansas' last in-state game is Nov. 19 against Mississippi State in War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.




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