FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After guiding the Razorbacks to a Southeastern Conference victory at Ole Miss on Saturday quarterback Casey Dick was selected as the league’s Freshman of the Week.
“Casey showed a lot of composure in leading us to a victory at Ole Miss,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “He was stepping up in the pocket, taking some hits, but still delivering the ball right on target.”
In only his second collegiate game Dick was 17-of-24 for 175 yards and had three touchdowns in the Razorbacks’ 28-17 win over the Rebels. After completing only five of his first 12 passes, he connected on 12 consecutive passing attempts down the stretch to lead the Hogs to a come-from-behind victory. Dick produced scoring drives of 73, 63 and 61 yards after UA had only managed 53 yards of total offense on the previous eight offensive drives.
“It’s difficult to complete 12 consecutive passes against a talented defense in the SEC,” Nutt said. “I think he gained a lot of confidence in the second half. He has only played in two games, but he is definitely growing as a quarterback.”
Dick became the first UA quarterback to throw for three touchdowns since Matt Jones tallied three against Florida last season. The Allen, Texas native connected with Marcus Monk on touchdown passes of 23 and 24 yards. He also hit Peyton Hillis on a four-yard TD pass. His .708 completion percentage ranked 10th on the UA single game completion percentage record list.
Dick is the second UA freshman this year to pick up the conference honor and he wasn’t the only Razorback to receive recognition for his outstanding performance in Oxford, Miss. Sophomore Marcus Monk, junior defensive tackle Keith Jackson and sophomore fullback/punt returner Peyton Hillis were each named Hogwired.com Players of the Week.
Monk, Arkansas’ offensive player of the week, recorded five catches for 63 yards, including two touchdown receptions. His TD catches in the second half were crucial in Arkansas’ victory as he tied his career-best and is now eighth on UA’s all-time TD reception list with 12.
In the fourth quarter he hauled in a season-long 24-yard touchdown pass from Dick to seal the win and his 63 receiving yards are the best the LePanto, Ark., native has earned this season since Arkansas’ home opener against Missouri State.
Jackson, the defensive player of the week, racked up a career-high 10 tackles, including seven solo stops against the Rebels.It is the third time in the last four games that he has gained double-digit tackles. He also earned two tackles for loss (-11) including one sack (-9) and his effort helped the Hogs earn a season-high five sacks and 12 tackles for loss (-60).
On Ole Miss’ final offensive drive of the game the Little Rock, Ark., native tallied his first forced fumble of the season when he stripped UM quarterback Ethan Flatt on their third down play. Ole Miss recovered, but missed a field goal attempt on the next play effectively icing the win for the Hogs.
Even though Hillis started at fullback his biggest impact was felt on the kickoff coverage team and at punt returner, helping him earn Hogwired.com’ Special Teams Player of the Week. The Conway, Ark., native racked up two special teams tackles and returned three punts for 34 yards in UA’s 28-17 win over Ole Miss. It was only his second week on the kickoff coverage team, but he made tackles on successive UA kickoffs in the fourth quarter containing the Rebels’ returns inside the 20-yard line.
In his first touch of the third quarter, Hillis returned a 48-yard punt 27 yards to the UM’s 38-yard line. It was a career high punt return and the longest by a Razorback this season.