bill-swift - August 24, 2012
Normally the quarterback is one of the most important players if not the most important player on the field. He is the heart and soul of the offense. Everything starts with him; if he fails then the offense will fail.
That being said, you would think that choosing a starting quarterback would be one of the most important decisions a head coach could make. However, when Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown finally chose one on Wednesday it really didn't mean much to the future of the team.
Brown was in a win-win situation when it came to choosing between the brother of a Texas legend, junior Case McCoy, or sophomore David Ash. Both are good quarterbacks; not great. Each did an okay job of leading the team last season en route to an 8-5 record. The problem is that neither really stood out as an obvious choice.
As important as the quarterback is to the team it would sound as if the Longhorns might be in for some trouble this season, right? Absolutely not; the strength of the Longhorns team is in its defense and in its running game.
Defensively the Longhorns will be one of the best teams in the country. Last season the unit was No. 11 in the nation, and with eight of 11 starters coming back and some added depth in the front seven, it will be even harder for teams to run on Texas. Last season they were No. 6 against the run; look for them to be top three this season.
On offense the team will lean heavily on the run, and why not? The team will have a trio of very talented running backs running behind what will likely be the best offensive line in the Big 12.
Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron became a rather dangerous duo as the season stretched on last season, and really helped the offense stay on the field when David Ash and Case McCoy had trouble getting the passing game going. Add in the top running back recruit in the nation, Jonathan Grey, and the Longhorns are stacked at running back.
The hope of course is that either Case McCoy or David Ash will develop to the point where they can be a key player for the team. McCoy has simply failed to earn the job outright; as a junior he should have progressed further than he has. Ash may have thrown twice as many interceptions as he did touchdowns last season, but Brown must see more potential and growth in the sophomore.
David Ash will be expected not to lose the game for the Longhorns this season. The running game combined with a dominant defense will dictate the fortune of the Longhorns in 2012. However, should Ash develop into the player Mack Brown has been looking for, it would not be shocking to see the Longhorns playing for the title come January.