Wednesday Grid Update, 11/2

With South Carolina and a Saturday morning game looming, Arkansas continues to rally around freshman starting quarterback Casey Dick.

The key focus in the University of Arkansas' Wednesday football practice continued to be getting freshman quarterback Casey Dick ready for his first start.

Not only his first start, but he will take his first college snap on Saturday morning when Arkansas hosts South Carolina at 11:30 a.m.

"He had a really good day today," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "He is getting better with the timing, the snap count, all those little things that you take for granted. He's doing really good. The snaps have been excellent. That's what makes you sleep better. That is the one thing you do worry about with a new quarterback. You don't want any balls on the ground and today was just perfect."

Nutt said it's not as if Dick was being thrown out there without any familiarity of those around him - players he has been throwing to since reporting early in the summer.

"What's been good is that throughout the year he has been able to get in some pass skel and 1-on-1 and get in some individual work with Marcus Monk, Cedric Washington. So it is not just like it is totally new. Especially during the open week."

Nutt pointed out he would love for the others around Dick to step up a level to make his first start an easier one to be successful in.

"They can be at their best this game and take it off of him," Nutt said. "If the ball is thrown to you, make the catch. Backs, line just continue to do an excellent job in run blocking. That all helps the quarterback."

The fact that Dick is practicing so well has brought a renewed energy to practice according to Nutt.

"We had another good practice again today," Nutt said. "There was excellent intensity, great effort and they came to practice two days in a row with a smile on their faces."

Peyton Hillis will once again be the punt returner for Arkansas this weekend.

"They do the rugby style punt and it is very difficult to return," Nutt said. "We have worked hard on it. We are still going to go with Peyton. He has got to be very, very alert and has a tremendous responsibility - especially with the ball going end-over-end and line drive kicks, we have got to be cautious. We have got to communicate very well."

Even though his team is just 2-5 this season, Nutt views this as a big game for it and he and his staff have posted signs to that effect around campus this week.

"We've been talking about it for a long time - about two weeks now," Nutt said. "It is real important. It is about pride, the passion for the game when things haven't gone just right the way you planned them for these seniors."

On the injury front, it appears Arkansas will be with everyone it was expecting."

"Clarke Moore has been the one that has been the most banged up and he was out here today," Nutt said. "Mason Templeton has been banged up, he's doing okay. They are fighting through it."

This will be the last time that the seniors will plat at Reynolds Razorback Stadium since the Mississippi State game is being played in Little Rock.

"We are going to have 9 or 10 walk out to play for the last time as seniors at Reynolds Stadium," Nutt said. "It is important that we send them out the right way. That's why those signs have been up for two weeks. I think our team realizes that November has always been the most important month."


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