Ash key to getting Horns back to prominence

Texas head coach Mack Brown believes QB David Ash is the key to the Longhorns getting back on track.

For nine consecutive seasons you could count on the University of Texas reaching double figures in wins and having some sort of say in the national championship discussion.

Head coach Mack Brown believes his program is getting back to that level.

"We're still not where we need to be," Brown said Tuesday on the Big 12 conference call. "We still have some unanswered questions but we have a chance because we're older at quarterback. We're two-deep with experience at quarterback. We've got speed at wide receiver and tailback. We've got an offensive line that's intact for a third year in a row. We've got depth in our defensive line and secondary. We've got five or six linebackers that can play. All of those things are better than they've been the last three years."

Brown knows it all starts at quarterback. During the nine-year run in which the Longhorns tallied 101 wins and played for two national championships, winning one, the Horns were strong at quarterback with Vince Young and Colt McCoy leading the way.

Now it's up to David Ash to step up to that level. The junior, who has had 18 starts, closed  his sophomore year by throwing for 188 yards in the second half and rallying the Longhorns to a victory in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State.

"Obviously it's such a key position in our sport," Brown said. "He needs to be good and it helps if he's experienced. David's won 10 of his last 13 games. He was one of the more accurate passers in the country last year. We feel like he's ready to step up in a leadership role as a team. We're excited about him leading us going forward."

Ash's task is to get the Longhorns back to the level of being in the national picture year. Helping the team win nine games last season was good, but it's not Texas-like.

Brown made that clear to his team.

"We told them that winning the Alamo Bowl was a great win for us," Brown said. "We needed to get back to nine (wins). We need to continue to show progress. Nine's not enough at Texas. They understand the last three years are not acceptable. They're not the standard we've set forth for many, many years. Obviously our expectations at Texas are to win every game and they understand that."

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