David Ash is inching closer to a return, but that doesn't lessen the need for the Longhorns to get both of their backups ready to contribute in a big way. And that's not the only position where Charlie Strong will have to lean on his bench.
Through and through, the Longhorns are solid at the skill positions and at linebacker. The spots are stocked with reliable starters and enough backups that Charlie Strong can handle an injury or a bad game.
The rest of the defense and the offensive line are somewhat less stout. The secondary has no depth and only one reliable starter, the defensive line has talent without any reinforcements, and the offensive line is replacing three starters.
Because these groups are thin on experience and/or talent, the top backup from each one will be absolutely critical to how Texas performs this season. With the exception of the quarterbacks, each of these five guys will have to play, and play well, every single week of the season.