By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Freshman quarterback Devante Kincade produced big plays and got good reviews in the Ole Miss camp in August.
Twelve hours from Oxford in Kincade’s home state another mobile quarterback and recent Lone Star prep star was doing the same thing.
Given the uncertainty around Texas starting quarterback David Ash, it’s possible that Tyrone Swoopes becomes the first of the two heralded freshmen to make a college debut.
“We’d like to redshirt Tyrone Swoopes,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “Obviously injuries will dictate that.”
For Swoopes, an appearance would be in relief of senior backup Case McCoy.
Ash didn’t practice Tuesday and Wednesday, two of the most significant game-planning days for most college football teams.
He’s suffering from head and shoulder injuries sustained in the Longhorns’ 40-21 loss at BYU, and word of his status may not come until shortly before kickoff.
Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack says he’s preparing to see Ash.
“I think you’ve got to. They’ve got some transition going on, and I think if there’s any way possible he’ll play in the game.”
Ash completed 82.6 percent (19-for-23) of his pass attempts last year, throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns in Texas’ 66-31 win. He was also supported by a ground game that totaled 350 yards.
That ground attack has been as strong this season, but Ash has, throwing for 592 yards and six touchdowns in two games.
Asked what made Ash so effective against Ole Miss last year Wommack said, “We did.”
Wommack said poor eye placement led to missed assignments for Ole Miss. He called the Texas game a turning point in the the improvement of his defense.
Swoopes (6-4, 245) was rated the No. 13 quarterback in the country last year coming out of Whitewright (Texas) High School.
He rushed for 5,341 yards and 73 touchdowns while passing for 3,850 yards in his high school career.
“I don’t know much other than his height and that he’s an athlete. We do have a little plan for him if he does come into the game,” Wommack said.
Swoopes graduated high school early and went through Texas spring drills. In August he endured a hamstring injury that kept him out of some practice.
The hamstring doesn’t seem to be an issue now.
“Watching him yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised,” Brown said Wednesday. “He knows what to do. He had good answers when Major (Applewhite, QB coach) asked him questions. He’s much more aggressive now, because he’s well. When he hurt his hamstring he obviously didn’t have that burst and wasn’t as aggressive across the board.”