FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Razorbacks Casey Dick and Nate Garner have been named the Southeastern Conference offensive player and offensive lineman of the week, respectively, for their performances in Arkansas’ 45-31 win over Mississippi State Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark.
“We are extremely proud that Casey and Nate have been recognized for their efforts in our victory over Mississippi State,” head coach Houston Nutt said. “Casey was extremely accurate and efficient throwing the football. Nate was dominate up front racking up 18 knockdowns against a quality defensive front.”
Dick tied a UA record with four touchdown passes while completing 14-of-17 passes for 199 yards in the victory. His .824 completion percentage ranks third on the Arkansas single-game percentage list. Dick, who was also named the Hogwired.com offensive player of the week, completed touchdown passes of 19, 30, 35 and 57 yards against the Bulldogs.
The junior signal caller has 17 touchdowns this season which is tied for the fifth-best total in program history. With his four touchdown passes, Dick moved into a tie for third place on the UA career touchdown list tying Barry Lunney with 33 passing scores. Dick is fourth in the SEC this season with a 130.7 passing efficiency rating.
This is Dick’s second conference honor as he was named the SEC Freshman Player of the Week after the Ole Miss game during the 2005 season.
At his right tackle position, Garner tallied a team-high and career-best 18 knockdowns on 62 snaps during Saturday’s win over Mississippi State. The knockdown total is a season high for any UA lineman. Garner leads the team this season with 60 knockdowns. The senior tackle graded out at 95 percent, including a 95 percent grade in run blocking and a 94-percent clip in pass blocking. Garner and the rest of the offensive line did not allow a sack against the Bulldogs’ defense.
“Casey and Nate are key members of this team and deserve to be players of the week in the nation’s toughest conference,” Nutt said.
Ernest Mitchell earned Hogwired.com defensive player of the week recognition for his 10-tackle effort against the Bulldogs. Seven of his 10 tackles were solo stops. Mitchell tallied two tackles for loss (13 yards lost) and sacked Mississippi State quarterback Wesley Carroll for a loss of eight yards. The junior defensive tackle also racked up two quarterback hurries and forced a fumble. Mitchell is tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks and ranks second for the Razorbacks with 9.5 tackles for loss.
Brian Vavra, the Hogwired.com special teams player of the week, totaled eight kickoffs against Mississippi State for an accumulation of 518 yards which was good for 64.2 yards per kickoff. Two of his kicks were downed in or went through the endzone for touchbacks. Mississippi State’s average starting field position during the game was its own 30-yard line.
Following each game this season, Hogwired.com will recognize an offensive, defensive and special teams player of the week. Recipients are chosen by the UA football coaching staff.