Dick Expected To Be Ready

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick was looking to his left, so he didn't see what was coming from his right until it was too late.

Dick was injured 3 minutes and 35 seconds into the second quarter of last Saturday's 58-10 win over Florida International when he was blindsided by safety Ashlyn Parker.

While the hit looked bad, Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said Sunday that he doesn't believe it will have any lingering effects on his starting quarterback — other than some temporary pain.

"I think he'll be ready to go by tomorrow," Nutt said. "(He's) just a little sore, a little bruised and I think he'll be fine."

Nutt said he anticipates Dick to practice Tuesday in full pads, and the junior is expected to start Saturday night when Arkansas (5-3, 1-3 Southeastern Conference) hosts No. 23 South Carolina (6-3, 3-3).

Dick suffered bruised ribs and a slight concussion when he was hit by Parker on the rightside of his body while looking left to throw a deep ball.

The quarterback spent several minutes on the turf while being examined by Arkansas' athletic trainers, and he was later taken to Washington Regional Medical Center for a precautionary CT scan.

Arkansas athletic trainer Dean Weber said Dick could have returned to the game, but it wasn't needed. Backup quarterback Nathan Emert did just fine filling in for the junior.

"He's highly intelligent, and he's always studied and prepared as if he's going to play every game. That's what you love about him," Nutt said of Emert, a Shiloh Christian graduate. "He's very mature, and it's not like that was his first game.

"You can tell he's played before, understands the game and I was just really proud of him."

Emert took over for Dick with 11:25 remaining in the second quarter, and he proceeded to march the Razorbacks 72 yards for a touchdown to give them a 24-0 lead.

Emert was productive in his first significant playing time in an Arkansas uniform, completing 13 of 25 passes for a career-high 154 yards and one touchdown.

Before last Saturday, the sophomore had attempted only six passes in four games of mop-up duty, completing five for 112 yards and one touchdown.

Afterward, Emert said he wasn't nervous replacing Dick, who was seen after the game walking around in a T-shirt and shorts.

"When you have great guys on the field playing with you, there is no need to be nervous because they're going to make plays and they're going to block for you and you don't have to worry about anything," said Emert, who was a record-breaking quarterback at Missouri Southern in 2005 before transferring to Arkansas.

While it appears unlikely, Emert was asked if he thought he'd be ready to start against South Carolina if Dick couldn't.

"Yes, totally comfortable, I'm ready to go," Emert said. "Whatever my team needs me to do."

Saturday's nationally televised game against South Carolina marks the beginning of a brutal month-long stretch for Arkansas. The Razorbacks end the regular season with four consecutive SEC games, including on the road at No. 24 Tennessee and No. 3 LSU.

Like Arkansas, South Carolina has quarterback issues of its own.

Gamecocks' coach Steve Spurrier named Blake Mitchell his starting quarterback on Sunday. The change came less than a day after Mitchell came off the bench to replace Chris Smelley and help South Carolina erase a 21-0 deficit to Tennessee.

The Gamecocks, however, lost 27-24 in overtime.

"Right now, we're planning on starting Blake," Spurrier said.



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