Arkansas QB Back On The Field

FAYETTEVILLE -- Casey Dick said it was the biggest hit he has ever taken in his career, but the shot that knocked him out of the 58-10 win against Florida International won't sideline him for Saturday's game against No. 23 South Carolina.

The Arkansas quarterback was on the practice field Tuesday, three days after sustaining a slight concussion and bruised ribs in the second quarter against FIU. Dick went to the hospital for a precautionary CT scan and later returned to the sidelines.

"It was a good hit," Dick said. "A nice, clean hit. He did a number. ... I got the breath knocked out of me and my ribs were a little sore, but they're fine (Tuesday) and we're ready to go."

Dick said he never lost consciousness and knew he would be all right. He was held out Sunday, but didn't experience any headaches and never forget anything about the play.

"They tried to make me forget everything, asking me 1,000 questions," Dick joked. "But it all panned out all right."

Arkansas' offense never suffered, either.

Backup Nathan Emert came off the bench to lead the Razorbacks the rest of the game, completing 13 of 25 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Emert's performance left the Razorbacks impressed in their backup quarterback as they begin the final month of the season. In fact, coach Houston Nutt indicated he wouldn't shy away from putting Emert in the game if the Razorbacks offense ever struggles under Dick.

"I was proud of Nathan and the way he came in and got things done and I was proud of Casey and what he's done," Nutt said. "So we're going to play the guy that's moving the team and putting the team in the end zone. We'll see which guy it is."

But Nutt quickly added Dick will start against South Carolina.

"Right now, Casey is starting," Nutt said. "He deserves it. He got hit and took a very big hit. A blind-sided hit. He got up and came back. So I'm really proud of that."

Dick made his collegiate debut against South Carolina two years ago, completing 12 of 24 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 14-10 loss. Last season, he replaced starter Mitch Mustain in the first quarter and led the Razorbacks to a 26-20 win by completing 11 of 19 passes for a career-high 228 yards with one touchdown and an interception.

"It was a big game for us," Dick said. "We had lots of big plays with our backs and receivers throwing the ball. So we'll just have to keep continuing to build on that."


Nutt was asked about the situation regarding tight end Ben Cleveland, who was not given his game jersey or allowed to stand on the sidelines Saturday. Cleveland, who has been on the sidelines for other games this season, is redshirting this season because of nerve damage in his neck.

"I wish he came to me, but he didn't," Nutt said. "He got here about, I think, when we were on the field. We always put a list up. His name was left off. Usually we get that done on Tuesday.

"There's never been a problem. I talked to Ben, there's no problem whatsoever. He did watch the game in the stands. There's a lot of facts that were mixed up. He was in the stadium watching the game. He'll be dressed out this Saturday."

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