David Ash named starting quarterback despite poor play

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After being benched and replaced by Case McCoy in the fourth quarter against Kansas, David Ash remains the starting quarterback for the Longhorns.

Ash’s success in the past kept him his starting job even though McCoy led Texas to its narrow win over Kansas.

“It was a staff discussion yesterday,” head coach Mack Brown said. “David’s body of work has been really good. He’s played and been one of the best quarterbacks in the country.”

Ash was benched with 9:37 left in the fourth quarter after failing to generate any significant offense. He struggled and went 8-for-16 with 63 yards and two interceptions. While the defense had its best game of the season, the offense couldn’t capitalize on Kansas’ weak defense.

“It was just a rough day,” Ash said. “Things weren’t going my way. The thing that I was most disappointed in was that I just didn’t think I handled it well. I thought I got frustrated a little bit and probably started trying to do a little bit too much.”

McCoy came in and was very effective, saving the Longhorns from what could have been an embarrassing loss, with a drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Grant.

“I think David knows that the offense didn’t produce when he was in there and it was very obvious when Case came in, it did,” Brown said.

Ash has 12 touchdowns, 1,726 yards and five interceptions this season, with four of those picks coming in the last three games. But he has kept the offense in games against Oklahoma State, Baylor and West Virginia. He isn’t dwelling on the potential loss of his starting spot.

“I’ve got to learn from it and move on,” Ash said. “I’m not going to look at things that are out of my control. I’m going to try and control things that I can control.”

McCoy’s only other action this season was a few reps against Oklahoma and New Mexico. He went in during the Oklahoma game after Ash hurt his wrist during the fourth quarter. The Sooner defense consisted of most backups at that point. But McCoy had two touchdown passes, which helped deflate the large Sooner lead. The coaches are sticking with Ash, but McCoy is available and prepared if necessary.

McCoy said his role as being both a backup and starter through his career at Texas has helped him.

“Bottom line is I prepare each week like I’m going to be the starter and I know that if I ever get thrown into the fire I’m going to prepare just like I did and hopefully have the same outcome,” McCoy said.

Brown said that after Saturday the coaches will not hesitate to put McCoy in. Co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin prefers to stick with one quarterback.

“We like to get a guy into a rhythm,” Harsin said. “We like to get a guy in the flow so that he knows exactly what’s happening. So as much as you can keep one guy in it’s better for you rather than rotating them around in my opinion.”

Printed on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 as: ...but David Ash will start Saturday