The two most important players on the Longhorn offense won't suit up against the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday.
David Ash has a concussion. Ash carried the ball a team-leading 16 times against a physical BYU front 7 - with several of those runs called QB draws when the game was already decided - not to mention the final scramble in which he sustained his injury or injuries. Plural. There's also talk of a possible shoulder problem.
Major Applewhite is very fortunate to have had the cover of the Diaz firing this week, because he's to blame. Maybe he was frustrated because Mendenhall was cleaning his clock on money downs. Maybe he temporarily lost sight of the big picture. Head coaches exist to walk over to their young OC and remind them that there's an entire season to consider. Unfortunately, our head man was too busy coaching up the defense.
Texas will continue to say that we're evaluating Ash so that Ole Miss has to draw up an honest game plan (Ash torched the Rebels last year in Oxford going 19 of 23 for 326 yards and 4 TDs, murdering them with the deep ball), which might buy us a quarter and a half with McCoy before their corners realize that they can probably grab that floating out route and run in the opposite direction. I've already got Yakety Sax ready on my iPod for Case McCoy's pocket self-pressures on 3rd down.
Seriously, McCoy does have ability in the short passing game between the hashes, and he's very good at pre-snap recognition against obvious defenses, but he must maintain his composure and get the ball out quickly on short drops. The Derping must be kept to a minimum. We pretty much have to hope that the Ole Miss DC is a total incompetent and won't adjust to the Case Rules.
The coaches don't want to play Swoopes because they'd like to preserve his redshirt and he's behind in reps and in the mental game. He can't get us out of bad plays and he'd have a narrow menu of options at his disposal - basically a bootleg, an option play, and a QB draw. He may have to play anyway.
Daje's ankle is not good - bent back on the 3rd play of the BYU game on an inside run. He can't drive off of that leg and rest is the only cure. He may miss more than just the Rebels. We have no replacement for what he brings to the table. One play scoring threats don't grow on trees.
On the positive side, our defense is quite healthy. Lack of contact is a wonderful preservative.