Tag:David Ash
Posted on: November 12, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Texas loses Whittaker to knee injury

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The depth Texas has at running back is being severly tested on Saturday afternoon. The Longhorns were already without both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron heading into today's game against Missouri, and now the Longhorns will be without Fozzy Whittaker.

Whittaker hurt his right knee while making a cut on a run in the first quarter. Whittaker immediately went to the ground clutching the knee and looked to be in a lot of pain. There is no official word on what the injury is, but according to sideline reports, Whittaker will not be returning to the game.

Which means that Bryan Harsin will have to rely on D.J. Monroe, Jeremy Hills, and Cody Johnson for the rest of the afternoon.

Texas came into this game rushing for more than 400 yards in each of its last two games, but it looks like it will have to rely on the arm of quarterback David Ash a bit more today.
Posted on: November 6, 2011 1:13 am
Edited on: November 6, 2011 1:26 am
 

Big 12 Winners and Losers: Week 10



Posted by Tom Fornelli


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Oklahoma State's BCS title dreams

This was here last week as well, but that doesn't change the fact that it's true. Though Kansas State gave Oklahoma State just about everything it could handle on Saturday night the Cowboys still emerged from the scorched earth and rumbling fault line that was Boone Pickens Stadium with a win. Now the Cowboys are 9-0 on the season and will move up in the BCS standings to the second spot after Alabama's loss to LSU.

So as long as Oklahoma State keeps winning -- and there are still three games to go, so nothing is guaranteed -- then it's going to end up in New Orleans. There is no Big 12 title game to get in the way, though a game against Oklahoma will serve as the Big 12 championship, but at least it's played in Stillwater and not Jerry World.

WINNER: Brandon Weeden's Heisman hopes

With Alabama losing that hurts Trent Richardson's chances because voters tend to vote for the best players on the best teams, and since Alabama has a loss now, they won't be considered one of the best teams. It's stupid, but it's reality. Now, Weeden likely won't be able to pass Andrew Luck without Stanford suffering a loss, but he's still the quarterback of the #2 team in the country. That alone is enough to get you consideration these days, let alone the fact that Weeden's now thrown for 3,212 yards this season and 26 touchdowns on one of the best offenses in the country.

LOSER: Ryan Broyles

To be clear, there has never been an injury suffered by any player that I've enjoyed. Every single one of them stinks, but Ryan Broyles' torn ACL on Saturday made me sadder than most. This is a kid that has not only been a great player during his career at Oklahoma, but someone who passed up on the chance to become a millionaire in the NFL last spring so he could return to Norman and play for a national title. Now his season is over and his draft stock is going to plummet. This world has never been fair, but sometimes it's just downright cruel.

LOSER: Preseason expectations

Before this season started Texas A&M was ranked 8th in the AP poll and 9th in the Coaches poll. Well, just in case you needed any more evidence to see why preseason polls are absolutely ridiculous since we're offering opinions on teams before seeing a single down played, just look at Texas A&M. After getting beat soundly by Oklahoma on Saturday the Aggies are now 5-4 and 3-3 in the Big 12 staring at a date in the Alamo or Sun Bowl. Considering that the school is moving to the SEC next year, those preseason expectations may also end up costing Mike Sherman his job.

WINNER: Smashmouth football in Austin

Why should Bryan Harsin even bother calling a pass at this point? Over the last two weeks he's seen his offense rush for 880 yards and 11 touchdowns. After scoring 6 rushing touchdowns against Texas Tech it's the first time the Longhorns have run for at least 5 scores in consecutive games since 2005. Making things even more impressive, the Longhorns didn't even have Malcolm Brown available on Saturday. The combination of Brown and Joe Bergeron over the next few seasons, with some David Ash mixed in, is going to keep defensive coordinators up at night.

LOSER: Justin Tucker

Who is Justin Tucker? I'm glad you asked. Justin Tucker is Texas' punter. He's only had to punt once the last two weeks. Though I suppose that could just as easily make him a winner. Plus, at least he's also the placekicker and gets to kick field goals from time to time. Just to keep his leg from falling asleep.

WINNER: Baylor's offensive virility

Yes Baylor was able to put up a lot of yards in its last two games against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, but it still wasn't able to put a lot of points on the scoreboard in either matchup. That changed on Saturday night against Missouri when the Bears not only scored 42 points to beat Missouri 42-39, but also picked up a school record of 697 yards of total offense in the process. Robert Griffin was responsible for 470 of those yards and 4 touchdowns while Terrence Ganaway rushed for 186 yards on only 12 carries. 15.5 yards per carry is a pretty good clip.

LOSER: Texas Tech

What the hell has happened, Raiders? Two weeks ago you were ahead of Oklahoma 31-7 in the second half, preparing to shock the world. Since then you've been outscored 124-37. I mean, you lost to Iowa State 41-7 last week and Iowa State was only able to beat Kansas 13-10 on Saturday night. Kansas!

WINNER: Speaking of Iowa State...

Hey, so it wasn't pretty, but the Cyclones picked up a 13-10 win against Kansas on Saturday night. The win improved Paul Rhoads' team to 5-4 on the season, which means it's only one win shy of bowl eligibility. That's great news for the program. Unfortunately, here's the bad news: Iowa State's last three games are against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

LOSER: Kansas' chances of winning a Big 12 game in 2011

Listen, we all know Kansas is a bad football team. I'm not going to pile on the program even more, but the school's best chance of winning a Big 12 game this season was on Saturday night in Ames, and the Jayhawks fell short 13-10. Now the Jayhawks finish the year with Baylor, Texas A&M and Missouri. Three teams who aren't untouchable by any means, but I'm not liking Kansas' chances in any of them.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:01 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Texas QB position still not settled

Posted by Tom Fornelli

During Texas' loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, quarterback David Ash took every snap in the game, which was the first time any Texas quarterback played an entire game this season. Unfortunately for Ash, he didn't have a great game, barely completing half of his pass attempts and turning the ball over three times.

So, not surprisingly, it seems the quarterback competition in Austin has resumed once again.

“It's always competitive -- every position is competitive,” said offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin on Tuesday. “You go back and review the film each week in practice -- that’s how we make our decisions on who plays.”

Mack Brown echoed his offensive coordinator's statements as well.

“If we feel like a different combination of both or a different start is going to help us win at Kansas, we’ll do that,” Brown said. “If we feel like David needs to continue going, we’ll do that. And that will be determined at the end of next week. We’re young enough at a lot of positions that we’ve got to continue to have them compete to see how they’re getting better.” 

The good news for Texas is that it has this week off, which will give the coaching staff and Ash an extra week of practice to figure things out before facing Kansas. Still, considering that Ash has looked every bit the freshman he is at times, I don't think we've seen the last of Case McCoy this year no matter how well Ash performs in practice.
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:38 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 3:09 am
 

Big 12 Winners and Losers: Week 7



Posted by Tom Fornelli


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Fans of offense

The Big 12 often gets flak for the lack of defense that is played in the conference, and for the most part it's criticism that's deserved. Of course, there's another side to that coin, and it's that the Big 12 is also home to some good offenses as well. Offenses that were fully on display throughout Saturday.

In five games between all ten teams in the conference, there was a total of 355 points scored, 45 touchdowns and 4,658 yards of total offense. That's 71 points, 9 touchdowns and 931.6 yards of offense per game. That is insane.

LOSER: The Baylor defense

Okay, and there's just genuinely bad defense too. There is little doubt what the strengths and weaknesses are with Baylor this season. The strength is Robert Griffin and the Baylor offense. The weakness is the other side of the ball, and it was evident on Saturday. Texas A&M racked up 681 yards of offense on Saturday, and Ryan Tannehill threw for 415 yards and 6 touchdowns. Robert Griffin, despite evidence to the contrary, is not perfect, and in order for Baylor to beat the best teams in the Big 12, Griffin can't do it all on his own. He's going to need his defense to step up and make plays from time to time, and it just didn't do that on Saturday. The result? A 55-28 blowout in College Station.

WINNER: Ryan Swope

Somebody had to benefit from all those yards that Baylor was giving to Ryan Tannehill and it was Ryan Swope. Swope finished the day with 11 catches for 206 yards and a school record 4 touchdowns. Swope is one of the most underrated receivers in the Big 12, and he's often overshadowed on his own team by Jeff Fuller, but he showed everybody why he deserves a lot more attention this weekend.

LOSER: David Ash's hold on the Texas quarterback job

For the first time since the Longhorns replaced Garrett Gilbert, Mack Brown and Bryan Harsin handed the reins to David Ash for a full 60 minutes on Saturday and got some mediocre results. Ash completed only 22 of his 40 passes for 139 yards with no touchdowns. More importantly, he turned the ball over three times. There's no guarantee that Case McCoy will see time next week because of it, but you can bet at the very least Malcolm Brown and Fozzy Whittaker will get a lot more than the 28 carries they split on Saturday.

WINNER: Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost

Coming into Saturday, Missouri's offense hadn't exactly been lighting up scoreboards the same way it has the last few seasons. Obviously, a lot of this had to do with breaking in a new quarterback in James Franklin. Coming into Saturday the Tigers were averaging 32.2 points per game, but if you took out the 69 points Mizzou scored against Western Illinois, that average dropped to 23 points per game. Against Iowa State Yost's offense blew up for 52 points and 583 yards of offense, with James Franklin totaling 5 touchdowns. No doubt Yost is hoping that becomes a trend for the last half of the season.

LOSER: Brandon Weeden's Heisman stock

I put Robert Griffin in this spot last week following a Baylor victory, and now Brandon Weeden finds himself in the same situation. Sure, Oklahoma State scored more points (38) than it ever had before during a trip to Austin, but Weeden's numbers on Saturday weren't very Weeden-esque. He finished the day with only 218 yards and a touchdown. Compare that to last week when he threw 288 yards and 5 touchdowns in less than a full half. The good news for Weeden is he has plenty of time to help people forget this performance.

WINNER: Believers in Bill Snyder

Let's be honest, nobody expected Kansas State to be 6-0 at this point in the season. A lot of people didn't expect the Wildcats to be 6-0 even after they started the season 5-0, as Kansas State opened the week as 3 1/2-point underdogs on the road against Texas Tech. Yeah, well, Bill Snyder doesn't care. The style of offense he runs may seem a bit old fashioned, but it works, and Kansas State is a contender to win the Big 12 whether you're willing to believe it or not.

WINNER: Ryan Broyles

It was just another night for the Oklahoma receiver, as he caught 13 passes for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns. His first touchdown catch of the night was the reception number 317 for Broyles in his career, and it moved him past Taylor Stubblefield for the most receptions by any player in NCAA history. Broyles finished the night with 326 career receptions, and he's still got seven games to go. He could pass 400 by the time he's done.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 7:17 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 7:18 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma State 38 Texas 26

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Oklahoma State scored more points on Saturday than it ever had before in Texas Memorial Stadium, beating the Longhorns 38-26. It wasn't the most impressive performance of the season by the Oklahoma State offense, as the Cowboys only picked up 423 yards of offense, but they did rush for 201 yards and still put up those 38 points. The most startling statistic in this game may be the fact that Brandon Weeden threw for only 222 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Smith was the offensive star for the Cowboys, rushing for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 7 carries. Justin Blackmon caught Weeden's lone touchdown pass, and finished with 74 yards receiving.

WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. While it wasn't Oklahoma State's best day on offense, its worst days are better than a lot of other team's best ones. What really provided the difference in this one, however, was the Oklahoma State defense. Not that it didn't give up yards and points, because it did. The difference was that Oklahoma State's defense forced 3 turnovers from Texas quarterback David Ash, picking him off twice and forcing a fumble.

WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. It was on that Ash fumble. Texas was down 38-26 in the fourth quarter with less than five minutes to go when Daytawion Lowe came on a safety blitz and jarred the ball loose from Ash while tackling him from behind.

WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The BCS rankings come out this weekend, and most projections had Oklahoma State ranked fourth coming into today's game. That's not likely to change, but this win also means that Oklahoma State still controls its own destiny. The three teams ahead of it are LSU and Alabama, who have to play each other, and Oklahoma, who Oklahoma State plays to end its season. So if the Cowboys win out, they're in a good position to be playing for a national title in January.

WHAT TEXAS LOST. The Longhorns are now 1-2 in the Big 12, two games behind both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and both of those schools hold a tiebreaker thanks to beating the Longhorns. So there's no way that the Longhorns are winning the Big 12 this season or going to a BCS bowl game. Still, even though the Longhorns lost, there has to be some optimism considering how much better the offense looked this week compared to last. It's still very young, and inconsistent because of it, but there are signs that the future could be bright.

THAT WAS CRAZY. The second half of this game started with 14 points in 12 seconds. Justin Gilbert returned the opening kickoff of the second half for an Oklahoma State touchdown, and on the ensuing kickoff Fozzy Whittaker returned the favor for Texas.
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:26 am
 

Keys to the Game: Texas vs. Oklahoma State

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TEXAS WILL WIN IF: The Longhorns can find some consistency between Case McCoy and David Ash, and do not abandon the run game. Texas had trouble against the Oklahoma defense on Saturday, and the Oklahoma State defense is not the same defense. It will bend and break occasionally. Which means that Texas should give a heavy workload to both Malcolm Brown and Fozzy Whittaker on Saturday. Oklahoma State is only giving up 165.8 yards per game on the ground, but that's because opponents have been so far behind they couldn't run the ball. Not only could Texas find success running the ball against Oklahoma State, but most importantly, it will help keep that Oklahoma State offense off the field.

OKLAHOMA STATE WILL WIN IF: It can take advantage of a Texas secondary that finds itself rather thin these days. Considering that Oklahoma State is second in the nation in passing yards per game (431.2) and leading the nation in scoring (51.4 points per game), that ought to be music to the ears of quarterback Brandon Weeden. The Texas defense had been pretty good all season against the pass before Landry Jones threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns against it, and you can be sure that Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken will be watching a lot of tape to see exactly how Oklahoma attacked it on Saturday and will look to do much of the same.

X-FACTOR: The Texas defensive line. With a thin secondary, the only way the Texas defense will be able to slow down the Oklahoma State offense is if it can get to Brandon Weeden consistently. Something that will not be easy considering the speed Oklahoma State moves at, as it can wear down a line. Still, in order for Texas to be successful on Saturday it's going to need big performances from Alex Okafor, Jackson Jeffcoat, Ashton Dorsey and Kheeston Randall
Posted on: October 5, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 5:34 pm
 

Garrett Gilbert is leaving Texas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

This news does not come as much of a surprise considering that Garrett Gilbert lost his job as the starting quarterback job at Texas, and his season is now over thanks to shoulder surgery, but according to Suzanne Halliburton of the Austin American-Statesman, Gilbert is leaving Texas.



As I said already, this is one of the least surprising developments of all time. It's obvious that Gilbert is out of chances at Texas, as he's behind both David Ash and Case McCoy on the depth chart, and if he were to stay at Texas he'd spend the rest of his career on the sidelines. Instead he's decided he'd rather look elsewhere so he can get a chance to play and live up the the expectations that accompanied him when he first came to Austin.

A possible destination for Gilbert would be at SMU, as PonyPride.com reported on Wednesday that Gilbert was spotted at SMU practice.
Posted on: October 1, 2011 11:10 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 11:10 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Texas 37 Iowa State 14

Posted by Tom Fornelli

TEXAS WON. The Longhorns are slowly starting to resemble the Longhorns of old these last few weeks. Texas had a rather easy time with a quality opponent on the road for the second game in a row, this time handing Iowa State its first loss of the season. The Texas offense wasn't fantastic, as it totalled only 400 yards of offense on the night, and went 4-of-14 on third downs, but it protected the ball and took advantage of opportunities it was given. On the other side of the ball, Texas forced three early turnovers to help put Iowa State in a deep hole early, and stymied the Cyclones offense for most of the night.

HOW TEXAS WON. With early help from Iowa State. The Cyclones turned the ball over three times in the first quarter which helped the Longhorns jump out to a 13-0 lead in the first fifteen minutes. The Longhorns would take a 34-0 lead into the locker room at halftime after the Iowa State offense failed to get anything going in the second quarter.

WHEN TEXAS WON. While the Longhorns had to be disappointed that they were only up 13-0 after forcing three turnovers in the first quarter, when David Ash hit Mike Davis for a 48-yard touchdown to put Texas up 20-0 early in the second quarter, Iowa State was on life support. Josh Turner then pulled the plug on the Cyclones when he scooped up a blocked punt and took it 34 yards to the house to make it 27-0 six minutes later.

WHAT TEXAS WON. Texas is getting its confidence back. It had to feel nice to get a bit of revenge against Iowa State after the Cyclones beat the Longhorns in Austin last season. More importantly for Texas, although the team is not fully back to the form we've grown accustomed to seeing over the last decade, this is a team that looks like it's starting to believe in itself again. Ever since Garrett Gilbert was replaced with Ash and Case McCoy, the team has looked a lot smoother, and with a game against Oklahoma looming on the schedule next Saturday, that confidence couldn't have come at a better time.

WHAT IOWA STATE LOST. Iowa State had to be feeling pretty good about itself after picking up wins over Iowa and UConn in its last two games, but it got a bit of a wake up call on Saturday night. This is a team that is improving under Paul Rhoads, but it also showed us on Saturday that it's a team that's not exactly ready to compete for a Big 12 title yet. Of course, that doesn't mean that the Cyclones can't make some noise in the Big 12 this year, and a bowl berth is still in play as long as the Cyclones can shake this loss off.
 
 
 
 
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