Receivers ready to make impact as conference play begins

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Mike Davis makes one of his five catches in a win over Ole Miss two weeks ago. The Longhorns will need another productive night offensively as they take on an Oklahoma State team that leads the country in scoring and total offense. Texas is 6-0 in Stillwater since Mack Brown took over as Texas' head coach in 1998.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

When Mike Davis sees David Ash throw the ball to him, he thinks, ‘Yes, it’s coming. Time to score a touchdown.’

Based on what the Longhorns’ offense accomplished against Ole Miss, it looks like Davis and the other wide receivers will be getting those opportunities more often.

Davis had five catches for 124 yards and a touchdown against the Rebels, but he wasn’t the only member of the wide receiver corps who got the opportunity to show what he can do.

Marquise Goodwin also had two catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, Jaxon Shipley accumulated 35 yards and D.J. Grant and Ryan Roberson both had receiving touchdowns as well.

Not what you’d expect from a team that has structured its offense around its running backs.

“Whenever you have a balanced offense, it’s like a championship team,” Davis said. “I just feel like whenever you can do both it’s the best thing for a football team.”

Ash went 19-for-23 and threw to nine different players against the Rebels. All of the offensive weapons at his disposal leads to opposing defensive backs not knowing whom to key on, giving the Longhorns an advantage downfield.

Until recently, Texas hadn’t utilized them enough. The Longhorns came in eighth in both scoring offense and passing offense in the Big 12 last season. The Longhorns have been focusing even more on balancing the offense this season and the Ole Miss game showed that.

“Teams are going to have to play the passing game as well as the running game,” Shipley said. “Because I know that they’ve been playing the run a lot, because we do have a good run game. I think last game showed that we’re dangerous downfield, and they’re going to have to play that as well.”

Against Oklahoma State last season, none of the Texas receivers scored touchdowns and Ash threw for just 139 yards. With Ash having more experience under his belt, that gives his receivers the opportunity to catch the ball more.

Though some of Ash’s passes in the Ole Miss game were underthrown, the athleticism of the receivers, especially that of Goodwin, compensated and they led the offense to one of its best games in the past two seasons.

“They’re all blocking for each other, more of a team concept,” head coach Mack Brown said. “Marquise Goodwin showed his ability to score on the run, and in the air. That speed really helps us as well. But I thought the guys really helped the quarterbacks and went after the ball, which is something we’ve been encouraging them to do.”

The game against Ole Miss was the first time in Texas football history the team has passed and rushed for at least 300 yards during a road game.

While it’s not the offense’s job to stop OSU from scoring, it is its job to score at least one more point than them. The Texas offense has been doing a good job of keeping the defense off the field so far this year, but the receivers will need to have a game similar to their last one in order for things to go accordingly.

“We’re all on the same page now,” Davis said. “We’ve always been on the page with running. But now we’ve clicked with our passing game and that’s why our offense is so good right now.”