The Austin Chronicle

Coach Brown to Case: We're Not In Kansas Anymore

By Michael Corcoran, October 30, 2012, 10:15am, The Score

The Wizard of Obvious, Texas head coach Mack Brown, has tapped his rose-colored Nike slippers together and said, three times, “There no QB like Ash.”

On Monday, Brown announced that David Ash, who was about as effective against Kansas as the ash some Catholics put on their forehead the first day of Lent, will return as starter Saturday against Texas Tech.

In last week’s KU game, reserve quarterback Case McCoy engineered two fourth quarter drives for the 21-17 win with 12 seconds left. But even after such heroics in the face of what would’ve been a long flight home on Laughing Stock Airways (“plenty of room for the tail between your legs”), MCCoy’s name on the depth chart remains Justin Case.

You see, Ash is the taller quarterback with the stronger arm. He has potential to one day play in the NFL. Like Chris Simms of a few years back. Ironically, the less physically-gifted QB who was a proven winner, yet sat on the bench while Simms choked time after time, was current Texas co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite. Ash/ McCoy isn’t quite Simms/ Applewhite. Ash was not the nation’s number one rated quarterback out of high school. And McCoy was not the starter before Ash came to campus on a Jetstream of promise/s.

But McCoy probably saved Coach Brown’s job on Saturday. He deserves a start, not a headset. On Saturday I wrote that “After Baby Colt's heroics, Lindsay Lohan may host SNL again before Ash gets back in the starting lineup.” Better check my TV Guide.

It could be that the 2:30 p.m. kickoff against Tech (to air on ABC) had something to do with the decision. Ash has performed very well this season except for the two 11 a.m. games- against Oklahoma and Kansas- when he played like he’d been doing Everclear gelatin shots at a frat party the night before. (“Hey, bro, this Jell-O tastes medicine-y.”)

It also could be that Texas Tech is going to try to jump on Texas early and Ash seems steadier in the pocket during certain defeat. Oh, yeah, Tech’s gonna whomp the Horns like they did West Virginia a few weeks back, turning those Mountaineers, fresh off a win at Texas, into Coalminers’ Daughters. This looks to be Austin’s biggest Tech loss since Agillion went under. Red Raider quarterback Seth Doerge’s last name will be pronounced “Dirge” on Saturday. (Normally, it rhymes with "gay-gee.") Despondent Horn fans are going to be so drunk that they get into their cars because they think APD had declared a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Weekend, not “No Refusal.”

Such pessimism is rooted in last week’s pitiful show at Larry, KS. Usually the defense, trained to tackle by matadors, is the scapegoat, but against 1-7 Kansas it was the offense. Until McCoy threw off the headphones like a starving DJ at an empty nightclub when the pizza arrives, Texas had scored just seven points in three quarters. Ash threw well behind receivers for two interceptions and it started to look like “The Garrett Gilbert Story,” so Mack changed the channel.

The game-winner came on a lob from McCoy to a wide open D.J. Grant on third and goal from the one. Texas was trailing by three at the time, so here’s a hypothetical: Would Coach Caution have called for a game-tying field goal if Case doesn’t convert? Of course he would’ve taken overtime vs. a risk. Mack wears a helmet on the stationary bike.

The play of the game was a 16-yard pass from McCoy to Jaxon Shipley on fourth and 6 with just under two minutes left. They don’t hook up like their older bros and the needy Longhorn Network is taxing the time of other coaches next year.

Texas (6-2) is now bowl eligible, the new standard at DeLossville. And Coach Brown, who called a time out at the right time (and an angel gets her wings), before a fumbled snap, gets to answer questions at the post-gamer about subjects other than his job security.

Quandre Diggs, meanwhile, got a full night's sleep Saturday. (I know because there were no tweets for eight hours). The defensive back, whose brother is Senseless Grabber, or, rather Quentin Jammer of the NFL, interfered with a Jayhawk receiver so badly on a 3rd and 9 that he left DNA evidence. KU kept the drive going late in the fourth quarter and kicked the go-ahead FG with a little over three minutes left. Jayhawk fans are so cute when they think they're going to win.

But then along came Jesus Brother #2 to lead the team like he had holy water in his veins. Thank your lord and savior Jesus Christ all you want, Mr. Case McCoy. You spared Longwhine Nation from the humiliation of losing to another boring Midwestern college whose team is stocked with players from Texas whose names the Horns recruiters saw on caller ID and didn't pick up. McCoy threw for more yards (68) in the last quarter than Ash did (63) in the previous three, to keep Texas from joining only South Dakota State in the Kansas win column.

Even though he’ll start on the bench against Tech, McCoy has the confidence to get in there and get the job done. The Five Million Dollar Coach knows that better than anyone. But for the Horns sake I hope we never see Justin Case McCoy. It’ll mean we’re still in the game. Or even winning, perhaps.

After Tech, there's Iowa State, a toss-up. But look for a Thanksgiving evening win against TCU, who just got stomped up in Stillwater 36-14. I don't even want to think about what K-State is going to do to us in Manhattan on Dec. 1. You wanna scare the shit out of Mack Brown? Wear a Bill Snyder mask for Halloween. (A Dick Cheney mask and a K-State cap will do.) The Wildcats will probably be in a position to play Alabama for the national championship if they beat Texas, which doesn’t seem to have the spoiler attitude. More like “Bon Voyage!”

That leaves Mack Brown with an 8-4 season, best case scenario, which keeps his pace of about $700,000 per victory. But don't feel sorry for the players. Remember, they get paid in homework.

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