Brothers To Compete For Starting QB Job

FAYETTEVILLE — Turns out, Arkansas has both a quarterback competition and a sibling rivalry going on this week.

Senior Casey Dick returned to practice Sunday after missing all of last week with a concussion, but his standing as the Razorbacks' starting quarterback is no longer guaranteed.

With only two games remaining in the regular season, Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said he's considering making a change at quarterback because of Dick's health and his poor performance in a 34-21 loss at South Carolina on Nov. 8.

The senior will compete against redshirt freshman Nathan Dick in practice this week to see which brother will start Saturday's critical game at Mississippi State (3-7, 1-5 Southeastern Conference). Arkansas (4-6, 1-5) must win to keep its hopes of becoming bowl eligible alive.

It's Big Brother versus Little Brother for playing time.

"We're going to have to wait and see how (Casey) reacts to everything, how the week of practice goes, (on) whether he'll be the starter or Nathan will be the starter," Petrino said Monday afternoon.

Nathan Dick, who's two years younger than Casey, took over as Arkansas' quarterback after his brother suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit with around six minutes remaining against South Carolina.

Making his debut after nearly two seasons on the bench, Nathan Dick completed 4 of 8 passes for 38 yards and led the Razorbacks 87 yards on 12 plays for their final touchdown in the loss.

Petrino said he was impressed with how the backup played in his only series at South Carolina and how he has approached practice since Casey Dick suffered the concussion.

"I think him playing in a game gave him a little confidence," Arkansas wide receiver Lucas Miller said of Nathan Dick. "In practice, he's definitely reading things a little better, a little quicker and understanding the offense a little more with (that) game time, that experience that he's gained."

Petrino said he has no plans to rotate quarterbacks against MSU like South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier did against Arkansas.

Casey Dick, who has started 20 consecutive games, returned Sunday night when Arkansas resumed practicing after having the previous two days off.

He split the reps evenly with Nathan Dick and showed early on the type of accuracy and zip on his passes that were missing against the Gamecocks.

In the loss, the senior completed 16 of 26 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns, but threw three costly interceptions before taking the hit to the head.

"Me and (fellow wide receiver) Carlton Salters discussed that at the first of practice (Sunday) when we were just throwing routes, how much harder and more accurate he was throwing the ball during routes," Miller said of Casey Dick.

"I think you're going to see him come back this week and it's going to be a competition. Whoever does the best is who's going to start this week."

Petrino said he hasn't decided yet how he'll split the snaps in practice between the two brothers. Meanwhile, Miller and Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs said they'll support whichever quarterback gets the start at MSU at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

"(Nathan is) able to come in there and stand in the pocket, take some hits and make the throws. Obviously, he's going to be inexperienced compared to Casey," Luigs said. "But at the same time, his upside's on the high side."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories