This was the year that the Texas defense was supposed to carry them back to contention in the Big 12. When the offense started to click early in the year it looked like Mack Brown and Texas were back in the hunt, then came back to back losses to fellow contenders West Virginia and Oklahoma. Those two losses have put the Horns two games back of league leading Kansas State and in some circles it has increased the talk of Mack Brown's eventual demise. Fortunately for Texas, the Longhorns have used a potent offensive attack to advance themselves to a solid 5-2 record and this week they'll head to Kansas coming off of a shootout win over Texas rival Baylor.
QB - David Ash - 6'3" 224 - Soph
Ash enters his second year as a starter and while he's no Colt McCoy or Vince Young, he has made strides and improved to the point where he is very serviceable as the Texas signal caller. Take away one bad snap and this team might knock off West Virginia at home and the loss to Oklahoma wouldn't have felt quite as devastating. Ash is consistent but lacks some of the qualities that make for an explosive quarterback. He completes his passes at a 70% clip, his quarterback rating is nearly 160 and he has nearly 1700 yards through five games with 12 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions. He'll certainly present some challenges for a Kansas defense that struggled a week ago in Norman but if Kansas can slow Ash down, it can be a recipe for a competitive contest in Lawrence.
RB - Joe Bergeron - 6'1" 230 - Soph
Johnathan Gray - 5'11" 205 - FR
Malcolm Brown - 6' 220 - Soph
Texas has a trio of backs that can punish you as a running group. Ash has been improved but this is really the area that Mack Brown and Texas look to rely on. Bergeron and Brown are well built tough runners, Gray is the top running back recruit coming in with his class. This group has talent and they produce. Bergeron is definitely the leader with 14 touchdowns to Gray's 1 and Brown's 3, but Bergeron only eclipses Gray in yardage by 100 at 418. Overall the trio has amassed over 1000 yards and they are the 36th ranked running group in college football.
LT - Josh Cochran - 6'6" 290 - Soph
LG - Trey Hopkins - 6'4" 301 - JR
C - Dominic Espinosa - 6'4" 298 - Soph
RG - Mason Walters - 6'6" 320 - JR
RT - Luke Peohlmann - 6'7" 275 - Sr
Everyone but Peohlmann has starting experience coming into the season and this is a relatively young line that has started to develop heading into this season. They've provided solid protection for Ash in the passing game and they've given the Longhorn backfield running lanes. This should be a group that has some very serious potential heading into 2013 as they continue to develop as a unit.
WR - Jaxon Shipley - 6'1" 192 - Soph
WR - Marquis Goodwin - 5'9" 180 - Sr
WR - DJ Monroe - 5'9" 175 - Sr
WR - Mike Davis - 6'2" 193 - Sr
WR - Bryant Jackson - 6'2" 200 - Soph
WR - Daje Johnson - 5'11" 185 - Fr
The Longhorns spread it around with seven players over the 100 yard mark in receiving yardage, six players recording double digit receptions and eight players recording a receiving touchdown. Mike Davis is the most productive with 500 yards and 4 touchdowns, Jaxon Shipley checks in at the number two spot with 268 yards and four touchdowns to his name. DJ Monroe can be dangerous in the return game and Daje Johnson is an explosive true freshman with a bright future.
TE - DJ Grant - 6'3" 238 - Sr
Greg Daniels - 6'5" 258 - Soph
Just take a look at the size and guess the role of these two. Grant is the leading receiver from the tight end spot, Daniels provides a boost to a larger running package as an extra big blocker on the edge.