- Carter Strickland, Reporter, HornsNation
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AUSTIN, Texas -- Upon further review, David Ash was "solid and winnable."
That was the grade given to the Texas quarterback by the coaching staff.
That's not at the top of the grading scale. That rung is called "championship." It's not the bottom, either.
What "solid and winnable" represents is the highest grade Ash has ever been given. It also represents that Ash, while not spectacular, did enough. At least enough to hold off Case McCoy for this week and maybe a few more.
"Now that David is settled and he felt good about his game, we can build with him now," coach Mack Brown said.
So much for a quarterback controversy. Well, so much for there being a quarterback controversy this week.
That doesn't exclude McCoy from playing against New Mexico. In theory, Texas should be able to pad the scoreboard against the Lobos and allow some time for the backups. Of course, that was the predominant thought headed into Wyoming as well.
It didn't happen.
Instead ... "We did what we needed to do to win," said guard Trey Hopkins. "We had a plan, we came out and we executed it."
The plan right now is to turn New Mexico into the second coming of Jamelle Holieway and Oklahoma. At least that is the mantra of the Texas coaching staff so far. True enough, the Lobos scored 66 points using an option attack Saturday against Southern University.
"That would put them third [in scoring] in the Big 12," Brown said.
Texas is seventh. Ahead of Oklahoma. But still just one spot ahead of where the Longhorns finished last year. Sure, it's early. But the early games are when teams are supposed to make hay on the scoreboard. Brown knows that.
"We've got to make sure we score more points than our opponent does," said co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin.
Um, Oklahoma State scored 84. West Virginia posted 69. And Baylor put up a paltry 59 on SMU. Safe to say these teams are the Joneses of scoring in the Big 12. Now Texas has to keep up.
To do that there will be an emphasis this week on getting the ball downfield with more frequency. Texas also would like to create more plays for freshman running back Johnathan Gray.
"The reason he didn't have as many touches was because of the unexpected," Harsin said of Gray. "We don't want to put our young guys in bad situations. We want them to have success when they go out there and play."
Mack Brown said he envisioned a scenario in which each of the running backs had 15 carries. The issue there is that Texas has more than just three runners. D.J. Monroe proved himself to be an asset with his five carries for 36 yards a touchdown. It's pretty clear that Texas is going to continue to get Monroe his touches.
"I liked where his mind was in this game," Harsin said. "He caught the ball and ran hard on the sweeps and ran physical."
Now Daje Johnson, who can do many of the same things, is off suspension and ready to play. Harsin said he will try to package those guys, but Monroe will have the edge, given his performance on and off the field.
As for Texas' performance, "solid and winnable" should be enough again for this week.