Thanks to the production of quarterback David Ash, receiver Mike Davis and a powerful rushing attack, Texas has re-emerged as one of the hottest teams in the country the past two weeks.
Early in the season, Ash drew Heisman speculation mainly because of the Longhorns’ perfect record and his high passer efficiency rating. However, that talk stopped after his stumble against Oklahoma. Davis has established himself as Ash’s go-to receiver, leading the team in yards. With the exception of Malcolm Brown, the running game holds its own, too.
Although the Heisman is out of the question for Ash at this point, the next few weeks will thrust the sophomore quarterback and his accomplices into the national spotlight. The Thanksgiving meeting with TCU will air on ESPN and the final game of the season versus Kansas State will undoubtedly be shown across the country. Ash can get an early jump on his 2013 Heisman campaign, while Davis can secure his spot among the preseason Biletnikoff award candidates. Let’s take a look at Ash’s and Davis’ current stats and what fans can expect next season.
Ash currently ranks 42nd in the nation in passing yards with 235.4 per game, 2,354 total. The sophomore has 17 touchdowns to five interceptions and has been the catalyst of the resurgent Longhorn offense. Looking back to last season, Ash finished the year passing for 82.2 yards per game, 1,068 total. Assuming Ash finishes the season maintaining his streak of stellar play – including the Longhorns’ bowl game – the sophomore will end the year with 3,060 yards passing, 23 touchdowns and six interceptions, yardage numbers that will mark a 186 percent improvement from 2011. If Ash made even half the improvement this offseason that he did last offseason, he would pass for well over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2013. Those kinds of statistics would put Ash atop the Heisman favorites and if Texas could remain undefeated, the trophy would be Ash’s to lose.
Davis, statistically, is already one of the best receivers in the country, ranking 29th in yards averaging, 83.7 per game, 837 total. The junior has seven touchdowns on 45 receptions thus far with three games to play. Davis caught 45 balls last season, accounting for 609 yards but only one score. Davis is on track to finish the season with 1,088 yards, which would mark a 79 percent improvement from 2011. If Davis made the same improvement this offseason, 2013 would see the soon-to-be senior account for close to 1,900 yards, the same pace Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams is currently on. Davis sits at seventh place all-time in receiving yards at Texas with 1,924 yards as of right now.
While the numbers look good on paper, it would be asking a lot for these two players to improve much more upon what they are doing this season. However, it goes without saying that Ash and Davis will be two of the most electric and productive players in college football come next fall.
Printed on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 as: Ash will have shot at 2013 Heisman