Mack Brown: Earl Campbell ‘always welcome’ at Texas

Posted Monday, Sep. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information Texas at Iowa State 6:30 p.m. Thursday TV: ESPN

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When Tommy Frazier called for Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini’s dismissal earlier this month, Pelini snapped back saying, “We don’t need him.” When another legendary fan favorite — Earl Campbell — made similar comments, Texas coach Mack Brown took a much more tactful approach.

“Earl has done so much for Texas,” Brown said. “He will always be welcomed at our school. I’m disappointed in his comments, but he’s entitled to his opinion.”

After the Longhorns lost two of their first three games, those who criticized and called for this season to be Brown’s last were numerous and unforgiving. Even after Texas’ 31-21 win over Kansas State, Campbell, the first player in program history to win a Heisman Trophy, joined the chorus of criticism.

“If players get too old to play a game, why can’t a coach get too old to coach it?” Campbell surmised.

Ash day-to-day

Brown is unsure about who will be under center this week. David Ash is day-to-day while he recovers from a head injury he suffered in the second quarter of Texas’ win over Kansas State — his second head injury this year. If Ash is unavailable, senior Case McCoy will start.

True freshman Tyrone Swoopes has yet to play this season but could remove his redshirt against Iowa State.

“He’s very talented, very strong arm,” Brown said. “Now that he’s well, he’s done a lot of what we saw in the spring game. He does a lot well, but he’s also making a lot of freshman mistakes.”

Injury updates

While Ash’s status is up in the air, Texas gets dynamic playmaker Daje Johnson back from an ankle injury and offensive guard Mason Walters from a knee injury.

Wide receiver Mike Davis missed the win over Kansas State with an ankle injury and is questionable this week while offensive tackle Josh Cochran is out with a shoulder injury.

Redshirt freshman Tim Cole will make his first career start Thursday when he lines up at weak side linebacker in place of junior Jordan Hicks, who was lost for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon. The defense allowed nearly 100 more yards per game without Hicks last year, who missed the last 10 contests with a hip injury.

“We didn’t have as many senior leaders. All we had was Alex [Okafor] and Kenny [Vaccaro],” defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. “This year, we have me, Chris Whaley, Adrian Phillips and Carrington Byndom. That’s a lot of guys.”

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