Untested freshman gets nod vs. Gamecocks

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Casey Dick, a freshman quarterback who's seen no action in Razorback games this year because he's been redshirted, will start for Arkansas against South Carolina on Saturday, coach Houston Nutt said.

The red shirt is coming off, Nutt said Sunday, because Dick has impressed his coaches with his passing in practices and has shown the skills to move the offense.

Robert Johnson started the first seven games for Arkansas this season. Nutt said he would take the blame for Johnson's struggles as signal-caller as the Razorbacks went 0-4 in the first half of their Southeastern Conference season, 2-5 overall.

"It's not that I'm saying it's Robert Johnson's fault," Nutt said. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Robert Johnson has done some good things for our program and he's still needed."

Nutt said Dick deserves a chance to show if he can spark the Razorback offense.

As a senior at Allen High School in Texas, Dick completed 133-of-248 passes for 14 touchdowns. He also rushed for 401 yards and eight touchdowns in his final high school year.

Nutt said Dick has thrown against the Arkansas defense all season in practice "and has done very, very well."

"He has a strong arm and good instincts," Nutt said. "It's hard to explain. He just has 'it.' He just seems to have a knack for making some plays and we're going to give him an opportunity."