“If any of those three receivers that are playing so well have to come out, then we've got to have somebody go in,” he said.
At running back, Joe Bergeron and Brown had done most of the heavy lifting until blue-chip freshman Gray got his shot at Oklahoma State because of Brown's ankle sprain in the first quarter. The trio has rushed for 657 yards and eight touchdowns, with four others — Goodwin, Shipley, D.J. Monroe and Jeremy Hills — averaging 9.3 yards per carry on their combined 23 runs.
Gray also has emerged as the triggerman in the “wild formation,” drawing comparisons from Brown to last year's operator in the formation, Fozzy Whittaker.
“Everybody's going to have good skill players. I think the key is you have guys that buy into your system, believe in the system and believe in each other,” said co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, who brought his system with him from Boise State last year.
“I think that's what we have,” Harsin added. “They're very explosive. They're aggressive, they're tough. They're guys who can make plays. They're doing all the little things behind the scenes that are helping them come Saturday nights.” The only skill position that is iffy is tight end. Texas is still searching for the right combination of blocking and receiving from the unit. But the group is capable of big things, witness last Saturday when Ash, facing a fourth-and-6 from the UT 29 in the final moments, hit D.J. Grant on a 29-yard pass and run that kept alive the drive which led to Bergeron's game-winning TD.
The Longhorns have looked crisper and more confident on offense in their past two games — the victory at OSU preceded a 66-31 rout at Ole Miss — than they have at any point since McCoy departed after the 2009 season.
“The whole offense has been in sync the last two weeks for the first time,” Brown said. “I don't know why it kicked in at Ole Miss and carried over, but the offensive staff has got a lot of confidence right now in who we are and what we're doing.”
That's not something Texas fans have heard much the last three years. But it's something the Longhorns must continue to exhibit on Saturday night to have a shot against Geno & Co.
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