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Longhorns quarterback David Ash has grown as a leader, decision-maker

Ash is not yet in the class of former Texas stud QBs Colt McCoy, Vince Young or Major Applewhite. But he could be soon enough.
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 7, 2012

That's the sign of a maturing quarterback, and Ash is definitely that.

Truth be told, he has shown that he has a chance to be something special. There has been a belief that Ash only needed to be a caretaker because of Texas' defense and running game.

Well, the defense isn't as grand as everyone thought — it couldn't stop Joe Randle a week ago and didn't nothing to slow Geno Smith's Heisman train this past weekend — and while the run game is good, Ash can make plays, too.

And the Longhorns know it.

Just look at the fourth quarter against the Mountaineers. In crunch time, the Longhorns put the game in Ash's hands. Not a bad idea considering he'd finish the night with a better completion percentage and more yardage than the Heisman front-runner Smith.

But in those late-game moments, Ash showed that he is still a work in progress.

He drove the Horns to the Mountaineer 34-yard line, only to be sacked on second down and throw incompletions on third and fourth down.

Then on the next possession, Ash missed a shotgun snap that sailed right by him and cost the Longhorns a chip-shot field goal that would've tied the game.

Ash has yet to reach that elite level we saw from McCoy, Young or Applewhite during their Longhorn careers. So, Sooner fans, you won't be confusing Ash for any of those guys Saturday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl.

But that guy who threw two interceptions and was sacked four times last season against Oklahoma?

You won't see him either.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125 or at You can also like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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