Ash aims to be latest great Big 12 junior

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
2:14
PM ET

John Albright/Icon SMIOf the top 6 passers in the Big 12 last season (in terms of yards), David Ash is the only one returning.
To steal a phrase from the NFL, the Big 12 has been a quarterback-driven conference for the better part of the last decade. Many of those quarterbacks have been in New York for the Heisman ceremony, and some now occupy the pages of the NCAA record books.

From 2006 to 2011, there were 11 qualifying Big 12 sophomore quarterbacks to post a passer efficiency rating of at least 130.0. Ten of those quarterbacks were their team’s leader in passing yards in their junior season – the lone exception being Sam Bradford, who was injured in 2009 and only played in three games.

For many of those quarterbacks, their junior season was truly their breakout year.

• Robert Griffin III threw 15 more touchdown passes and completed 5.4 percent more of his passes than his sophomore season.

• Colt McCoy saw his numbers skyrocket. He threw 12 more touchdowns and 10 fewer interceptions.

• Chase Daniel threw for 779 more yards, and like Griffin and McCoy, earned a flight to New York for his efforts.

In all, eight of the 10 quarterbacks had a higher completion percentage their junior year. In addition, eight had more pass yards, six had more pass touchdowns and five had a lower interception percentage.

There was just one sophomore to post a passer efficiency rating of at least 130.0 in 2012 – Texas Longhorns quarterback David Ash. So what does history tell us about what to expect from the Longhorns quarterback in 2013?

Simply based on this Big 12 trend, Ash should see jumps in every statistical category next season – completion percentage (to better than 71 percent), pass yards, yards per attempt and touchdown passes.

Of the top six passers in the Big 12 (in terms of yards), only Ash will be returning this season. Longhorn fans are hoping he can show enough growth to get them back into the Big 12 title race.

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