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Alamo Bowl notes: Dorsey out, update on Ash rib injury, more

Mack Brown provided a few nuggets during his brief press availability on Christmas Eve.

Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE

Horns_bullet_mediumDorsey out. The Longhorns will be without an important contributor in the trenches on Saturday -- junior defensive tackle Ashton Dorsey will miss the game because of a concussion that also kept him out of the Kansas State game. He had previously missed the Texas Tech and Iowa State games with a calf injury.

As a result, the Longhorns will have to count on junior Brandon Moore, sophomore Desmond Jackson, junior Chris Whaley, and freshman Malcom Brown to fill in for Dorsey as they have done in four out of the last five games. Brown in particular could benefit tremendously from the extra reps that he has been receiving in practice leading up to the game and the reps that he will receive in the Alamo Bowl.

Horns_bullet_mediumAsh injured ribs against Iowa State. Time to finally end the speculation about when starting quarterback David Ash's rib injury happened:

All this revealed in the head coach's Monday availability. Brown also revealed that Ash didn't practice at all in the week and a half between the game against the Cyclones and his start against the Horned Frogs.

Another turn in the twisting narrative about Ash's performance, the new information significantly changes the perception of what happened on that dreadful Thanksgiving evening.

It raises questions about why Ash was given the opportunity to come back out in the second half after being replaced by Case McCoy to end the first half -- Ash was clearly struggling and simply wasn't healthy enough to keep playing on that night. If the coaching staff hurt Ash's development by pulling him against Kansas and not allowing him the opportunity to work through his struggles, the new information seems to reveal the opposite.

McCoy probably should have started and played the entire game against TCU.

Horns_bullet_mediumAll healthy players available. Despite some rumors to the contrary several weeks ago, the Longhorns did not suffer any academic casualties during the fall semester, so there won't be any players held out of the Alamo Bowl due to grades.

The academic support staff has taken some heat at times for some notable failures, but in this instance the group deserves from credit for doing their job and making sure that everyone on the team took care of business this fall.

Kudos as well to the players, especially the two junior college players who have now completed two semesters at Texas and have clearly turned around their academic careers after whatever struggles they faced coming out of high school.

That's no small task and will help prepare them for life after football.

Horns_bullet_mediumPerspective from Kenny Vaccaro. The senior safety will be playing his last game as a Longhorn in San Antonio, so he reflected a little bit during the player availability about a week ago:

My high is just the relationships I have built with my teammates. People say this and that about me, but in the locker room I have earned their respect and when the team voted me MVP, honestly, it said they love me. And I love them. I will forever be on that wall. That meant a lot for me. None of the other awards meant that much for me, the All-American or the All-Big 12. It was that my team respected me, and that is all you want. You will remember that for the rest of your life.

Vaccaro's season has probably been a bit underrated in the sense that he's had to defend so many slot receivers man-to-man that he hasn't had to opportunity to freely range in the defensive backfield and just make plays. Throw in a ridiculous amount of run-pass responsibilities and it makes even more sense that he only had two interceptions.

However, the tough and fiery senior also drew the attention of his teammates for his work. As he said, he earned their respect, and that really matters more than any national recognition.