Instant analysis: Texas 66, Ole Miss 31
September, 16, 2012
By David Ubben | ESPN.com
Nothing short of a great win for Texas tonight. Definitely felt a lot like David Ash took some big steps toward maturity in the Longhorns' first road trip of 2012.
He completed 15 consecutive passes from the first to third quarters, and showed some big improvement as the Longhorns rolled over Ole Miss, 66-31.
Time for some instant analysis:
It was over when: Texas opened the second half with a dominant drive, going 78 yards in seven plays and capping it with a powerful D.J. Monroe 10-yard touchdown run. That put the Longhorns up 38-10 and took even more energy out of an amped crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Any idea of an upset ended when Texas asserted itself to open the half and prevented the Rebels from gaining any momentum.
Gameball goes to: Ash. Did we just see his career breakout game? Ole Miss' secondary looked ragged for much of the game, but Ash, a sophomore, played the best game of his career, and showed plenty of promise that he could be depended on later in the season. He finished 19-of-23 for 326 yards, four touchdowns and still has yet to throw his first interception of 2012. Did anyone think we could see this kind of performance out of Ash this early in the season?
Stat of the game: Texas won the turnover battle, 3-0. That included an interception from Steve Edmond that opened the game's scoring. He returned a Bo Wallace pass 22 yards for a touchdown.
Unsung hero of the game: Texas' offensive line. The big uglies up front gave David Ash all day to throw, and the holes were roomy and frequent for Texas' rushing attack all night long. The focus in this game will be on Ash's performance, but the offensive line deserves plenty of credit, too.
What Texas learned: The offense can look like a juggernaut from time to time. We haven't seen an offensive performance like this from Texas in a long, long time. Texas hadn't scored this many points since the Big 12 title game in 2005, and the next game ended with the Longhorns hoisting a national championship trophy. It's too soon to have any talk close to that, but Ash's development makes that power running game up front even tougher to stop. His difficult freshman season seemed pretty far in the rearview mirror tonight.
What Ole Miss learned: The defense has a long way to go. Receivers were open all day, and when Ash put the ball in the air, the Rebels defensive backs never seemed to be able to find it. The front seven were dominated, and the Longhorns made this win look easy. Could be a long season in Oxford for Hugh Freeze's first season.
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BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35