The Texas Longhorns (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) honored the memory of Darrell Royal on Saturday by taking down the Iowa State Cyclones ( 5-5, 2-5 Big 12) with ease, 33-7. Longhorns’ quarterback David Ash shredded the Iowa State Secondary going 25-31, for 364 yards and two touchdowns. Ash averaged over 11 yards per pass as he continued to show he has not only grasped the offense at a higher level than anyone expected in his second year, but that he is the perfect fit for Bryan Harsin‘s offensive system. Not to leave co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite out from the credit, but the offense is Harsin’s baby.
As the Longhorns now sit at eight wins, with the possibility of another 10 win season under head coach Mack Brown, it might sound funny to people outside of Austin to hear the question; how hot is Brown’s seat? The question is still a hot topic regardless of how the season ends for the Horns because the fact remains, Texas isn’t winning conference championships. Regardless of what the future holds for Brown, one thing has become abundantly clear this season; UT needs to do everything they can keep Bryan Harsin in Austin as the man of offense.
Harsin’s play calling can be irritating for fans at times, he could just keep things simple, but the offense has flourished in their second year in his system. Coming into their match-up against ISU, the offense was putting up 441 yards a game, ranking 11th nationally in scoring offense. David Ash ranks in the top 20 in passer rating and simply put, he and this offense can put up points. The biggest reason he needs to be kept around is because of the progression from Ash.
Questions arose much of the last two years about why the Horns couldn’t bring in a great quarterback to command the field. Garrett Gilbert never impressed anyone and was replaced last season by Ash and Case McCoy. Both showed flashes of players who could help bring the Horns back to the top of the Big 12, but they had both been thrown into the fire unprepared. Neither was given many reps in the spring and it showed in their confidence.
All season Ash has looked leaps and bounds above where he was a year ago and it’s because Harsin has been able to help Ash along in his growth. The whole offense has improved, and as players are brought up and grow within his system, the danger that this unit can become to teams in the conference is astounding. Ash is calm, confident and doesn’t get as careless. What can the third year bring?
If the Horns can get their defense in check, they might be in the national title discussion very soon.
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