I had a chance to catch up with The Asset to talk about what's going on with the Longhorns in practice and from a team standpoint this last week. That has to be welcome news to those like me who are weary from all of the off the field bombshells being dropped in college football these last few days.
First, let's talk about the QB position where we gave you an appetizer on Tuesday about David Ash's performance in the first workout of the week. The Asset told us that Ash played "ok", but looked mediocre when compared to last week's practice performance. The good news is that Ash had a really good session especially with pre-snap reads yesterday and validated his command of the Longhorn offense with pinpoint execution in the passing game. When asked about his assessment of Ash over the last few weeks The Asset replied:
"He's had a couple of bad practices but overall he's growing by leaps and bounds. He's got all of the physical tools to be really good but he's starting to grasp the nuances of the game from pre and post snap reads to making good decisions in game situations. But perhaps the most important component is that he's a natural leader. The guys started buying into the kid this summer and he's done nothing but reinforce that feeling. The other players on the offense want to go to war with him, and to David's credit he's picked up on that and is starting to be more vocal. But it's not forced, it's a natural thing. The coaches know he's going to have to grow up soon in the passing game, however, and they expect this weekend to be a big test."
With respect to the last sentence of the above quote, The Asset tells us the coaches have put in a couple of passing game wrinkles to help Ash and to counter some of the things Mizzou is going to do to slow down Texas' newfound power rushing attack. Yes, that includes one new gadget, one new player in the passing game, and perhaps multiple people throwing the ball. The rest of the story is, well, REDACTED.
At running back, as we tweeted on @Recruitocosm, Malcolm Brown is good to go and will see action along with Bergeron. Nothing major to report at this position other than that.
At receiver Jaxon Shipley had a set back after yesterday's practice and reported some soreness in the knee. He's likely a game time decision but The Asset still thinks Jaxon will play. The coaches are preparing Miles Onyegbule and Darius White for increased snaps this week to help Mike Davis and Marquis Goodwin just in case however.
The wide receiver screen package should be big this week and the good news here is that White and Miles are big, physical wide receivers who are going to put pressure on Mizzou's nickel personnel trying to make tackles outside. White has had a good week of practice mentally so hopefully that translates to the game Saturday.
At tight end Poehlmann will continue to get big snaps in our power run look while Irby and Grant get snaps as well. These guys better bring their receiver gloves to Columbia.
On the Oline The Asset tells us that the coaches are fired up because the players have found their respective niches for the most part. Josh Cochran is really coming on as a player. They tested Josh on islands against some our better pass rushers this week, and Cochran answered the bell in impressive fashion. On the whole, they know that Mizzou's front 7 will be a real test and if practice is an indication the Horn Olinemen seem like they'll be ready. Nothing has really changed here from a personnel standpoint.
In the secondary The Asset tells us that Phillips is getting more reps at safety than he has in weeks past. Other than that nothing really new here.
At LB the snaps were allocated about the same with the exception of Edmond getting more reps than he got last week. The Asset thinks Cobb and Edmond will get some snaps this weekend based on how they were being coached on Wednesday.
Along the defensive line The Asset says the coaches like their rotation and that Bo Davis has backed off a little with his fire and brimstone style. As we reported in the last three weeks worth of practice reports, Davis was flat out challenging the manhood of players up and down the line of scrimmage. This week he's still been fiery but it's not near as derogatory as it's been. His players have earned a bit of a reprieve with their performance in back-to-back games and they haven't disappointed in practice this week to make the coaches think there will be a letdown.
In general the coaches are confident and think this group can win out at the rate we are going. "They're confident and the chemistry is as good as I've seen it since 2009," says The Asset. "I told you they think they can run the football on just about anyone, but they're getting more and more confident with Ash. I'm talking about the whole team buying into Ash--both sides of the ball. So look out."
We will and have been.