For every (well, most) young quarterback, there’s a “lightbulb” moment. For all of the frustration some young signal-callers experience, the majority have the game where it all finally clicks–where their confidence leads to execution, which in turns leads to results.
Texas Longhorns sophomore quarterback David Ash had that moment this past Saturday evening as he picked apart the Ole Miss Rebels defense to the clip of 19-23 passing for 326 yards and four touchdowns. On the season, Ash is completing 76 percent of his passes and appears to finally be throwing the ball with the swagger and confidence that made him one of the state of Texas’ best quarterbacks in 2010, along with new Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback J.W. Walsh.
The landscape of the Heisman Trophy race changed dramatically on Saturday with a loss by the USC Trojans to the Stanford Cardinal and an injury to Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson that will keep him out of action on a team that appear to have been grossly overrated.
With this vacuum at the top, there’s no reason at all that Ash shouldn’t now be a part of the Heisman Trophy conversation. With a win in Stillwater after a 13-day break, the Texas Longhorns should be a Top 10 team going into a big battle against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Oct. 6 in Austin, which could have both Big 12 and BCS implications.
Over these two games, Texas will be facing the 60th best and 83rd best scoring defenses in the country–in other words, nothing that should put a hitch in the stride of Ash and the Texas offensive skill players who are learning their roles, and how those roles play a part in the bigger picture of the Texas offensive scheme.
Given this, 300+ yard passing games are in Ash’s near future, and as long as he maintains the same ball protection to go with it, his stat lines will continue to be among the best in the country.
Will David Ash be in the Heisman talk in the next two weeks? Maybe not.
Will he be by Oct. 7? My money is on yes–and I’m not much of a bettor.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of the Rant Sports College Football Hour on the TSC Radio Network on Sunday evenings at 8 Central Time and Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.