Texas Longhorns quarterback David Ash was a popular whipping boy in Austin last year due to his inconsistent play, but he did show promise and ended the season strong in the Alamo Bowl. Ash heads into the Orange-White scrimmage with budding confidence, and as the most experienced quarterback in the Big 12, could be the x-factor as the Longhorns look for their first conference title since 2009.
This is a pivotal season for Ash who still has Case McCoy—whom many think should be the starter—as his backup and intriguing prospects in redshirt freshmen Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet who will be fighting for reps the rest of spring and into summer camp. But this is Ash’s job to lose and I’m confident he will take the next step be a nice fit in the new up-tempo offense that Major Applewhite is implementing this season.
Texas finished seventh in the conference in scoring last season, but I think they will be a top two or three unit this season because of the new tweaks to the offense, the best backfield in the conference, and the chemistry between Mike Davis and Ash.
The key to the Longhorns’ attack needs to be relying on the three-headed monster at running back with Johnathan Gray, Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron doing the heavy lifting. This will mean Ash can be the game manager and dominate the short passing game as well as take advantage of play-action to hit Davis for the deep ball.
Ash has been making excellent decisions in spring practice and taking the high percentage throws. He is not forcing the ball into tight windows and making bad decisions. Plus he has looked more comfortable running the ball and using his feet, which he’ll have to do more of in this new scheme.
He is more athletic than he gets credit for and the savvy competitor is going to make defenses take into account his threat to run the ball which is going to open up bigger windows in the passing game for him to exploit. With Ash taking a big step in his development this season, the Longhorns will win the Big 12 title.