Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Ash has taken Horns' QB spot and run
By David Ubben
Texas coaches made it clear heading into the season: They weren't afraid to play both David Ash and Case McCoy.
So far, they haven't. In two convincing wins, Ash has been on the field for nearly every meaningful snap and it doesn't look like that'll change.
Why? Ash has earned it.
Through two games, he's completed 36 of 49 passes (73 percent), without an interception. Only West Virginia's Geno Smith has completed a higher percentage of his passes (at least 15 attempts), though Ash is sixth in the Big 12 in passing yardage, with 377 yards.
It'll get more difficult, but for now, Ash has done what Texas' coaches needed him to do: Move the chains and not turn the ball over.
What about the deep ball? Texas would like to be more explosive, but coach Mack Brown doesn't sound too worried about Ash's lack of big plays so far.
"I'm really not [concerned], because the short ones are working. Then it doesn't matter. When they take the short ones away, you get more long ones, to be honest with you," Brown told reporters this week, adding that the Longhorns missed on a long ball to start the 45-0 win over New Mexico on Saturday. "It was wide open. We need to hit that one. We took a couple of other shots that were wide open. But they were playing way off us."
Ash's longest completion in the season's first week was just 16 yards, to Jaxon Shipley. Ash completed a 45-yard touchdown pass to Daje Johnson on a short "flair" pass, but he also threw a 22-yarder to Mike Davis.
His biggest play of the year to date? A 49-yard scamper for a score on 4th-and-1 last week against New Mexico that opened the game's scoring.
Through two games, Ash has three touchdowns without an interception, but he'll get a tougher test this week on the road against Ole Miss, though the 2-0 Rebels are picked to finish last in the SEC West.
"We won't take them lightly, because they look good on video and they're undefeated. That is the thing that helps you going in. I think the thing is that the SEC winning the national championships, as of late, has made them a 'media darling.' So our players hear nothing but SEC all the time," Brown said.
On Saturday, unlike all of last season, expect to hear nothing but Ash at the Texas quarterback spot.