Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 17
Longhorn Network has the latest update on Ash's status:
Charlie Strong announces that David Ash has decided to give up football.— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) September 17, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 8
ESPN Texas reported the latest on David Ash's status:
Charlie Strong on David Ash: “Right now David is indefinitely out. Tyrone is our quarterback."— ESPN Texas (@ESPNTexas) September 8, 2014
The Charlie Strong era at Texas got off to an excellent start with a 38-7 victory over North Texas on Saturday, but the Longhorns will have to put on an encore with a new quarterback under center.
According to Strong, junior David Ash, who threw for 190 yards and a touchdown in the opener, will miss next week's game against BYU. OrangeBloods.com's Anwar Richardson and ESPN.com's Max Olson relayed some of the details:
Strong: Ash left stadium Saturday OK, called late Saturday night to report injury.— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 1, 2014
The Austin-American Statesman's Kirk Bohls noted that this particular scenario could open a whole new can of worms:
Strong said Ash suffered the injury "on the first hit he took," which raises all sorts of issues.— kbohls (@kbohls) September 1, 2014
This is obviously an extremely concerning development for Ash, who missed most of the 2013 season after suffering a concussion. Both Strong and onlookers from the outside, such as NFL.com's Bryan Fischer, expressed worry about the young signal-caller's future:
Man, you have to feel for David Ash after what he’s been through. You also have to wonder if it’s time to retire.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) September 1, 2014
Safety is priority No. 1, especially with head injuries, and hopefully Ash is able to make a quick and full recovery.
On the field, Strong is confident in his team's depth, per ESPN.com's Travis Haney:
Strong on losing Ash: "It's not the end of the world here. We've got to go play a football game. That's what we're going to do."— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) September 1, 2014
He will turn to sophomore Tyrone Swoopes as his starting quarterback:
Strong: Tyrone Swoopes will start at quarterback. No decision on if Jerrod Heard will play too.— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 1, 2014
Charlie Strong: “I’m very confident in Tyrone (Swoopes). I’m confident in any player on this team."— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 1, 2014
Swoopes attempted just 13 passes last season, tallying 26 yards, and was sacked twice. The dual-threat QB showed glimpses of his potential during the team's spring game while Ash sat out with an ankle injury, but he's still considered fairly raw.
Fortunately, Texas has a strong run game to fall back on. Johnathan Grey and Malcolm Brown lead a balanced attack that should help the Longhorns tread water while figuring things out at quarterback.