Horns' confidence grows as Ash improves

David Ash shook off the question just as he had all Ole Miss rushers who dared approach the pocket.

"I always have the same confidence," the Texas quarterback said when asked if his 326-yard, four-touchdown performance might have boosted what many thought was a quality he lacked.

OK, point taken.

Here then is another point that needs to be taken when talking the entire Texas team: Its confidence in Ash is not the same. It's greater than it has been at any point in his two years as quarterback. That's what 66 points on the road does.

"It will help the defense feel good about their offense and know that they can hold their own because it's the first time we have done that in a while in a good setting like this," said Texas head coach Mack Brown. "And I think it will give the offense a whole lot of confidence."

Now before the hyperbole goes into hyperdrive, the brakes need to be slightly pumped. Ole Miss is not a defensive juggernaut. This is virtually the same defense that allowed 78 rushes of 10 yards or more in 2011. So to see Texas ripping off large chunks of yardage was not exactly a harbinger that it was 2005 all over again.

But then to see Ash effectively hit any receiver he wanted at any time he wanted, did make one at least pause for reflection. After all, it has been since 2005 that Texas rolled up this many points. This balanced performance -- 350 rushing yards and 326 passing yards -- is also a reflection of that year.

So, at the very least, the performance of Ash and the offense serves as a memory of how things used to be at Texas.

"We haven't shown that ability in a ball game for probably a year and half, two years," Brown said.

Suffice it to say, it was a longtime coming. Now Texas has to make sure the wait is not long before this type of offensive performance surfaces again.

The Longhorns will at least have to wait a week. Texas has a bye before it heads to Oklahoma State. That's where the road starts to get considerably tougher for the Longhorns. Sure, this is not the Cowboys team of past years. But it still is a conference game against a team Texas hasn't beaten since 2009.

Then again, Ash might have finally made an opening argument that Texas once again has a productive quarterback.

"You do like his ability to understand what we want an get the ball in the end zone," Brown said.

That ability apparently has been on display in practice. Ash went 14 of 15 in the last scrimmage before the opener. But that's practice.

Ash finally showed the reason why Texas selected him as the starter in the game. Now he just has to do it in back-to-back weeks.

No problem, said wide receiver mike Davis.

"Every week," he said, "I feel like we can do this every week because we are getting better every week."

And maybe a little more confident too.