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Alamo Bowl Attitude: New Play Caller, New Outlook for QB David Ash

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 10:47 PM CDT
San Antonio's Riverwalk is still alive with Christmas spirit. And Wednesday, Oregon State Defensive Coordinator Mark Banker gave the git of flattery when asked which team the Texas offense most reminds him of.

"They remind me of the U.S. Olympic track team," Banker said jokingly.

If that's the case, then the guy responsible for getting the baton in the hands of his speedsters is David Ash. And as the sophomore quarterback prepares to start his second bowl game in as many years, Ash says he's more than just a couple of time zones ahead of where he was in San Diego for last season's Holiday Bowl.

"Looking back, all those things I learned then are kind of second nature to me now," said Ash Wednesday. "I've had a year to play that way."

And the uptick for Ash should only accelerate now that Major Applewhite is calling the plays for Texas.

"Being in my position earlier in his life, he's able to relate to me in a closer way than almost anyone can," said Ash of Applewhite, the former Longhorns quarterback.

But Applewhite warns not to expect major changes Saturday against Oregon State.

"He's [Ash] made some great plays for our football team and made some great plays in some clutch situations," said Applewhite. So the last thing I want to do is scratch the hard drive and change some things that have really been ingrained in him."

It doesn't take a computer science degree to figure out that a win in the Alamo Bowl would be huge for Texas. A victory gives the program steady improvement in the win column each of the past three years. But should the Horns lose, they'll be exactly where they were a year ago. So does that create an Alamo Bowl burden for UT?

"If you don't have anything in your life that puts pressure on you, then you're not living a life worth much," said Ash. "You can't play quarterback and not embrace pressure."

And when saddled with the task of helping the Horns get back up to speed, having the U.S. track team at your disposal probably isn't a bad place to start.Alamo Bowl Attitude: New Play Caller, New Outlook for QB David Ash


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