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I miss David Ash

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The Longhorns have regressed in an extremely important category this season.

When looking at the red zone issues for the Texas Longhorns this season, play caller Major Applewhite pointed to the loss of the quarterback draw game and teams playing safeties to bracket fade routes.

Both responses to the limitations of starting quarterback Case McCoy.

So is it really that much of a surprise that Texas was No. 21 in red zone touchdown percentage last season and is now 103rd nationally?

All the major running backs returned. The only receiver gone was Marquise Goodwin, who left Texas as a player that was universally regarded as under-utilized by the time that the NFL Draft came around. And tight end DJ Grant.

It's not hard to agree that everything else being equal, the differences in the 2012 Texas offense and the 2013 Texas offense are the play caller and the quarterback, yes?

So it's not wrong of me to think about these issues and miss David Ash, is it?

When he could make plays like this in the red zone?

And this?

There's athleticism, there's the ability to make plays in big moments -- all the tools are there.

Were there. May be there again or may not.

The last update about Ash was from Mack Brown last week and as it has for a while, the pendulum once again swung from optimism about him getting back to practice to a rather non-update update in which all Brown said was that Ash continues to be fine for a week or eight days and then suffers another headache. The Texas head coach reiterated that he believes Ash will be okay, but it hasn't happened yet and there's now virtually zero chance that he plays in the regular season.

So, yeah, I miss David Ash, in no small part because his skill set helps solve the problems Applewhite laid out about the red zone offense and because it's sad not to see him have a chance to reach his potential this season.

More on what's going on in the red zone later.