AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas has its starting quarterback -- at least for now.
"As we have been saying, it is obvious you have to have one walk out there first," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "But we feel like both of them have been really good leaders, and they handled summer well and they handle preseason well, so we are not hesitant to put either one of them in the game. But David will start."
Ash was 3-3 as the starter last season. He finished with four touchdowns and eight interceptions and completed 57 percent of his passes.
He played every snap of the Holiday Bowl and was named the game's MVP after going 14-of-23 for 142 yards with a touchdown.
McCoy was 3-2 as a starter. He threw for seven touchdowns against four picks and had a 61 percent completion percentage.
He lost his starting job after throwing four interceptions against Baylor in the final game of the regular season.
Texas had just two games (Cal and Oklahoma State) where one quarterback took all the snaps.
"(After 2011) we really felt like, let's let them compete," Brown said. "Let's see who is the best one that comes out of it. I think what we found is they both pulled closer together.
"David ended up having a little more edge, that was it."
That little edge may not be enough to keep Ash on the field the entire time. Texas repeatedly has said it wants to play both quarterbacks. What the Longhorns' coaches have not settled on is when McCoy will play or how much he will play.
"We do not have a plan of exactly how that will be done yet, and we don't have to (at this point)," Brown said.
The coaches will implement more of their strategy in the latter stages of game week. Texas now has at least a strategy if there are quarterback issues.
"Now if one of them is hurt or not playing well, we can put the other one in the game and feel like he has a chance to still help us win the game," Brown said. "And if something is not working at one time or the other, we can change and they know that."
All of which could lead to one or both of the quarterbacks looking over their shoulder at the guy on the sideline.
"If you're scared about not having enough confidence at quarterback, you shouldn't be playing anyway," Brown said.
Confidence was a quality that Brown believed held the quarterbacks back a year ago. But that, as well as their accuracy with the ball and knowledge of the offense, has improved dramatically, he said.
"Both of them are more confident," he said. "Both of them are leading the huddle better. That is why we want to play both of them.
"Both of them also have three running backs they can count on, a veteran offensive line and three returning wide receivers. But both cannot go out for the first snap."