Injuries to David Ash and Daje Johnson worrisome for Texas

Garrett Callahan

Texas running back and wide reciever Daje Johnson will not play in Saturday’s game against Ole Miss after suffering an ankle injury against BYU, Texas announced Monday.

On the third play against BYU, Johnson limped to the sideline and was eventually taken into the locker room with what is speculated to be a high ankle sprain.

“It’s really disappointing,” head coach Mack Brown said. “But injuries are part of the game. We’ve had a lot of those lately and we just have to respond to it.”

This news comes after Texas’ 40-21 loss to BYU, in which the offense struggled to produce and the sophomore back’s absence was evident.

“This sounds like an excuse, but a lot of the offense Major [Applewhite] planned was gone after the third play on Saturday,” Mack Brown said.

Johnson recorded two touchdowns with a total of 129 yards against New Mexico State in Week 1, helping Texas to a 49-point win. 

“Johnson is a big part of our offense when the play is called,” junior running back Malcolm Brown said. “Those guys in the training room do a great job at getting him healthy and getting him back as soon as possible. We just have to move on from it and keep playing.”

Applewhite claims he will have to move some players around without Johnson as a weapon. The offensive play-caller explained certain schemes will still work, just without the intensity Johnson produced.

“There’s certain things that he can do and certain plays that we wanted to get the ball in his hands for that will run but aren’t as explosive when you have those guys,” Applewhite said. “Some of the plays you had specifically for Johnson you’ll lose but in terms of the base offense that’ll remain the same.”  

In the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, junior quarterback David Ash also left the contest with a head injury and shoulder injury. The quarterback will be evaluated day-by-day throughout the week and his status for Ole Miss is in question. 

If Ash is unable to start, senior Case McCoy will step into the starter’s role. During Sunday’s practice, McCoy took reps with the first team squad while freshman Tyrone Swoopes took reps with the second team. In addition, freshman running back Jalen Overstreet, who converted to running back this season, has been taking reps as the third-string quarterback.

Even without Ash, the Longhorns are ready to back up McCoy if he gets his opportunity. 

“We have all the confidence in the world [in Case] if David can’t play,” Malcolm Brown said.