David Ash and Case McCoy: Breaking Down the Texas Longhorns' QB Battle

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIAugust 13, 2012

COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 12:  Quarterback David Ash #14 of the Texas Longhorns passes during the game against the Missouri Tigers on November 12, 2011 at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

David Ash will be the starting quarterback for the Texas Longhorns this season. Or will it be Case McCoy?

Ash may seem like the favorite going into 2012-13, but the QB battle is just getting started.

Texas hasn’t had a stable player under center since Colt McCoy graduated and was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 NFL draft. Garrett Gilbert tried to pick up the slack but ultimately failed, transferring to SMU after losing his job last season.

With Gilbert gone, that gave head coach Mack Brown the option of using either David Ash or Colt’s younger brother Case as the Longhorns’ starting quarterback. He decided to use both of them in different situations and started to use Ash more frequently later in the season. That, however, doesn’t mean that Case cannot win the job going into this season.

“Everybody needs to help us get that position back,” Brown said via USA Today.

Why David Ash Should Start

Ash is the obvious choice going into the season. It would be unorthodox for the bowl-game starter not to start the team’s next game.

That’s not the only reason why he should start, though.

Starting Ash gives Texas several different options. He has the ability to throw the ball well and also move around the pocket, taking off from time to time. He has more of a Vince Young feel to him, and we all know how well that worked out.

“Mack Brown doesn’t want to make the decision,” writes ESPN’s Max Olson. “He wants the quarterbacks to make it for him. Despite that statement, Ash hasn’t stopped taking all the reps with the No. 1 offense since December bowl practices began.”

Clearly, Ash has a little advantage over McCoy just based on summer practices.

Ash is bound to improve from last season, writes Mike Finger of the Houston Chronicle, who sampled several similar quarterbacks from past seasons.

There’s no doubt that Ash could transform from a failing freshman to a succeeding sophomore. He just has to show Brown and us that he’s up to the challenge.

Why Case McCoy Should Start

McCoy could win the starting job without having to do much at all during the summer. ESPN’s David Ubben writes that Ash has battled a hamstring issue, which means that McCoy could become the favorite should it continue.

That’s not the way that McCoy wants to win the job, I’m sure. Instead, he should want to win it based on his performance on the field from last season and how much he’s improved since then.

McCoy is more of a pocket passer, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Plenty of college quarterbacks have had solid careers as pocket passers, and there’s no reason to believe McCoy couldn’t do the same. He’s not completely immobile; he just doesn’t leave the pocket as often as Young, his brother or Ash.

McCoy was 61.1-percent accurate last season, throwing for nearly just as many yards as Ash did despite 30 fewer attempts. He also threw seven touchdowns and four interceptions, compared to Ash’s four TDs and eight picks. His QB rating, for what it’s worth, was 24 points higher, as well.

According to the USA Today piece, McCoy has added an additional 15 pounds to get up to 200 and said that not playing in the Holiday Bowl was motivation for him to try to challenge Ash for the starting job.

A little competition never hurt anybody, but being the underdog could work out to McCoy’s advantage.

Predicted Winner: David Ash

I’m going with the safe bet, as long as Ash’s hamstring injury doesn’t become a serious issue before the season starts.

Ash was a steady quarterback last season, and even though he didn’t play as well as many would’ve hoped, he was just a freshman, thrown into the mix. He wasn’t prepared to be a starting quarterback, and that showed on the field.

This year, Ash will be fully prepared and ready to lead the Longhorns to victory.

Brown has no choice but to name David Ash the Texas Longhorns' starting quarterback to start the season.


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