More updates from Monday’s Texas football press conference.
Besides the biggest headline of the day (maybe of the season) — that quarterback David Ash is suffering from concussion issues again, and will miss Saturday’s BYU game — there have been other Longhorns developments as well.
Starting center Dominic Espinosa, who made his team-leading 40th career start last Saturday, has suffered a fractured leg or foot. A North Texas player rolled onto his foot late in the game. Backup center Jake Raulerson, who looked shaky in Espinosa’s place (there was a fumbled snap exchange with Ash, and later he was beaten by a North Texas lineman, who then sacked Ash), will start at center.
Suspended offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, who was suspended for the opener, will be back for BYU. Texas’ other two suspended players — wide receiver Daje Johnson and safety Josh Turner — will not, though. Head coach Charlie Strong said he has not yet made a decision on when Johnson and Turner will come back.
It took one week to arrive at Texas’ worst-case scenario.
Starting quarterback David Ash, who took five big hits in the season-opening win over North Texas, will miss this week’s BYU game — at least.
Backup Tyrone Swoopes, who got in at the very end of the North Texas game for two kneel-down plays, will start. Freshman Jerrod Heard will back up Swoopes.
Ash, who was not made available for the post-game press conference — at his own request, according to a UT spokesman — complained of a headache and dizziness later in the evening and alerted trainers.
Head coach Charlie Strong said the belief is that Ash was injured early in the game, in the first quarter, trying to recover a bobbled snap.
Strong said the game plan for playing without Ash is to rely on running backs Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray, and on the defense.
“We have a football team, and we have to go play,” Strong said. “You have players and that’s why you have scholarships. It’s not all about one person. Other players have got to step up, other players have got to play. It can happen to any team at any second.”
Ash missed 10 games last year. He suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of the second game, at BYU. He missed the following week’s game against Ole Miss with a concussion. The next week — Texas’ third game — Ash started against Kansas State, but didn’t return after halftime because of more concussion issues. Case McCoy finished the game, and Ash never returned for the season.
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