Ash steps up, defense steps back

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Senior fullback Ryan Roberson avoids an Ole Miss defender Saturday night. Roberson had a one-yard touchdown catch.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Last week against New Mexico, David Ash finished the game with 221 yards and two touchdowns.  Against Ole Miss, a team expected to be more of a challenge than the Lobos, Ash showed his improvement and went 19-of-23 with 326 yards and four touchdowns.

His performance was the best of his career thus far and was a step up from the last two weeks of the season.

The Longhorns have been putting emphasis on capitalizing big offensive plays.  He sent a 55-yard pass to Marquise Goodwin and a 46-yard pass to Mike Davis.

“The game was won up front, and our offense dominated this game,” Ash said. “That was the reason we were able to be successful. That’s why we’ve been playing really well.”

Ash struggled with hesitation before throwing long passes earlier this season.  On Saturday, that didn’t seem to be a problem.  Granted, some of the balls were underthrown, but they were still completed and his receivers didn’t give up on them.

Goodwin, Davis both have more than 100-yards

It’s no secret that the offense relies on its running game for most of its offensive production. But it didn’t seem like a lopsided offense on Saturday night.

Ash, Goodwin and Davis showed that the Longhorns can go downfield and both Goodwin and Davis had more than 100 all purpose yards each.

Davis caught a 46-yard touchdown pass and Goodwin had a 69-yard run for a touchdown.

“We want to see more yards,” Brown said. “We want to see more production. That’s out of [both] the quarterback and receiver area.”

Defense gives up big plays

The offense and defense seemed to flip-flop Saturday night.  While the offense accumulated 676 yards of total offense, the defense struggled and gave up big plays to the Rebels.

Missed tackles plagued the Longhorn defense. They gave up a 75-yard touchdown to Donte Moncrief and a 48-yard touchdown run to Jeff Scott.

The Rebel offense were allowed 399 yards. Not what you would expect from a defense expected to be one of the best in the country.

“Our defense was in the right position,” Brown said. “[Ole Miss WR] Donte Moncrief is just a good player, and we knew that coming in. Moncrief, Bo Wallace and Jeff Scott are all great athletes. Luckily for the defense, the offense picked up the slack.”

Sacks, interceptions help defense

Though the defense didn’t have a game to call home about, the defensive line showed why it’s one of the best in the country.

Defensive end Alex Okafor had two sacks and Jackson Jeffcoat, Reggie Wilson and Brandon Moore each contributed one sack each.  All sacks occurred in the first half.

An interception and then a 22-yard run into the end zone by linebacker Steve Edmond gave the defense its first defensive touchdown of the season and the Longhorns’ first points of the game.

Though Quandre Diggs got beat by Moncrief early in the game, he had two interceptions and the offense took advantage of both and scored touchdowns.

Printed on Monday, September 17, 2012 as: Ash dazzles in offense explosion