AUSTIN, Texas -- Back in July when the optimism was as high, Mack Brown took a look at his quarterbacks -- there were four back then -- and into the future.
What if there were not a clear starter by November the Texas coach was asked.
“I’ll probably be a truck driver,” he answered.
It’s November. There is no clear starter. And there is a sale on Rand McNally maps and John Deere caps. Texas continues to grind its gears at what Brown proclaimed "is the most important player probably on your football team.’’
It appears as if there is a change coming this week as Case McCoy has been listed ahead of David Ash on the depth chart. Always ones to hedge their bets, the Texas staff did keep the usual “or” between the two names.
Ash had been listed first the previous five games, and was pulled in favor of McCoy after throwing his second interception against Kansas State.
“David probably played too hard early, and pressed,” Brown said. “He needs to relax because he has done some great things for us this year.”
There hasn’t been anything too great about what Ash has done in several weeks. He has not thrown a touchdown pass since the Oklahoma game. He has not directed a touchdown drive since the Texas Tech game. Against Kansas he played two quarters and one drive in the third quarter and the offense had 111 yards.
McCoy came off the bench and rallied the team with a touchdown, a field goal and 199 yards of offense.
Still, McCoy, who has no interceptions to Ash’s eight, has not officially been named the starter.
“Because our quarterbacks, neither one of them has stepped up and taken over, we will look at both quarterbacks again this week,” Brown said. “We will just have to make a decision at the end of the week based on which one has practiced the best and what sequence of plays we will start the game with to see who starts.”
Bryan Harsin, Texas co-offensive coordinator, usually makes the call at QB, but was unavailable at Monday’s media session.
“We’ve just got to keep working with the two guys and try to find out what they do best,” Brown said.
Ten games into the season what they do best is still not clear. Brown did say the reason the staff went with Ash initially was because of his running ability.
McCoy, who is about 25 pounds lighter and an inch or two shorter than Ash, does not bring that to the game but is the better scrambler.
But it has been Brown and his staff who are scrambling to avoid the criticism of how Texas’ offense and quarterbacks have played. The coach said that is all part of the job.
“The head coach and the guy who coaches quarterbacks and calls plays and the quarterbacks around here, there is not much of a time for patience with them,” Brown said. “That learning curve has to go really, really fast.”
If the learning curve is slow and laborious speculation about the coach’s next job invariably comes up. Hey, and in some cases, it is even the coach that brings it up.
“There is no way I would have been stupid enough to say that,” he joked when reminded of his truck driver comment. “I don’t think I could drive a truck anyway.”