OXFORD, Miss. -- A look at the positives and negatives from Texas’ 66-31 win at Ole Miss.
1. Big plays
For weeks there had been questions as to whether or not David Ash could hit the deep pass. The sophomore quarterback finally proved he could against the Ole Miss secondary. Ash went up top for a 47-yard completion to Marquise Goodwin against the Rebels. It was Ash's longest pass since he hit Goodwin for a 47-yarder against Cal in the Holiday Bowl.
The sophomore was not done there. He hit passes of 55, 46 and 45 yards as well. Ash finished with a career-high 326 yards and four touchdowns.
Texas' defense forced Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace into three ill-advised throws with two coming while the game was still in doubt in the first half. Both of the picks came because of pressure placed on Wallace from the Texas defensive line. Texas also was able to turn those picks into points. Steve Edmond ran one back for a 22-yard touchdown. Quandre Diggs' interception was the start of a 60-yard scoring drive for the Longhorns.
3. Marquise Goodwin
The Longhorns had not involved Goodwin in the offense all that much in the first two weeks. Still, despite not touching the ball against New Mexico Goodwin was named the offensive MVP for his blocking. Against Ole Miss it was the other players blocking for Goodwin. The senior had a 69-yard touchdown run as well as the aforementioned reception. Goodwin's run was the longest at Texas since Jamaal Charles went for 75 in 2007 against Oklahoma State.
1. Third down conversion defense
Texas allowed three third down conversion in the first three quarters. All three led to scores. The biggest was a third and 2 converted for a 75-yard touchdown. Texas also allowed conversions of third and 17 and 18. The former came when Wallace found Korvic Neat for 30 yards. That led to a touchdown for Ole Miss. On the third and 18, linebacker Jordan Hicks was flagged for a horse collar. Ole Miss finished the drive with a field goal.
2. Hicks' injury
Texas was already thin at linebacker but when Hicks went down with what appeared to be a groin injury, the Longhorns lost their leader of that group. Hicks was the only returning starter at linebacker. As such he was responsible for all the calls. Without him the linebackers will be looking for a leader. Texas does have a bye week in which Hicks could recover.
3. Tackling issues
The Longhorns once again had trouble bringing down runners in the first half. Ole Miss' top two runners, Jeff Scott and Randall Mackey averaged 6.4 yards per carry in the first half. Wallace was also able to get free for a 15-yard first half run. Later, with the game out of reach, Texas allowed a 48-yard touchdown run by Scott as he ran through Demarco Cobbs.