Quarterback David Ash and the Longhorns starters did what they were supposed to do in the spring game: beat the back-ups.
Texas’ first-team offense wasn’t challenged by the second-team defense and scored 28 points before giving way to the bench late in the second quarter Sunday at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium.
UT’s starting defense didn’t budge against the offensive reserves and held them scoreless as the Longhorns wrapped up their spring season with the annual Orange-White game.
“Offensively, we just wanted to see who would produce,” said head coach Mack Brown. “We wanted to see which defensive players would take people on without help from the scheme.”
Ash took the first snap and if his performance was any indication, he’ll do the same on Sept. 1 against Wyoming in the 2012 season-opener. Ash outplayed former starting quarterback Case McCoy and led scoring drives on all three series with the first team.
Ash found Jaxon Shipley for a 10-yard score on his second drive. He also ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter playing with and against back-ups. Ash finished 5 of 6 for 83 yards.
“David has continued to impress and improve,” said quarterbacks coach Bryan Harsin. “David threw the ball well in the red zone. He didn’t have any turnovers, that’s the key.”
McCoy threw two interceptions and was nearly picked off a third time. He threw one touchdown, a 36-yard strike to DeSean Hales.
“I had some good plays and some bad plays,” McCoy said. “Not plays that were mental problems, but plays where the ball came out wrong.”
Ash appears to have the edge on the starting job heading into the summer. He’ll have the benefit of a strong running game led by tailbacks Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown. But UT’s biggest question mark heading into the offseason and next is the passing game.
“I have no doubt we can win games passing the ball,” Ash said. “I thought I played better football this spring than I did last season.”
Freshman quarterback Connor Brewer played exclusively in the second half and completed 4 of 7 attempts for 63 yards and one touchdown. Brown said UT plans to redshirt Brewer.
Shipley got in on the action too, throwing a 54-yard touchdown to D.J. Grant after taking a lateral from Ash. The wide receiver tossed three touchdowns last season as a freshman.
“He throws a good ball for a receiver,” Grant said. “If he got as many reps as the quarterbacks he would be just as good."
Printed on Monday, April 2, 2012 as: Ash impresses in scrimmage as spring season ends.