David Ash is back for his third year as Texas’ starting quarterback, and he’ll try to lead the 15th-ranked Longhorns — who return 19 starters from last year’s squad — to a convincing victory over what appears to be a much inferior team.
“There’s kind of a buzz in the air. Everybody is all excited, all the hard work we put in,” Ash told the Associated Press. “Now we get to go out and play the game, show what we’ve been working on, show the hard work we put in in the summer.
“I feel more optimism than I’ve had going into any football season since I’ve been here.”
A big reason for that buzz and optimism is the fact that the Longhorns are expected to introduce a new high-tempo offense that could help them improve from the success they enjoyed while averaging 35.7 points per game last year, good for 23rd in the nation.
Thanks to the return of its two leading rushers and receivers — running backs Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron combined for 1,268 yards and 19 touchdowns on 276 carries last season, while Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley combined for 116 catches for 1,676 yards and 13 TDs — Texas has a good chance of finally living up to the hype that always surrounds its football program.
“I’m more confident this team will be the best one we’ve had in the last two years or three years,” said Texas coach Mack Brown.
The journey to finding out if that’s true begins on Saturday.