Charlie Strong: Got to go play

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Longhorns are having a tough week.

Starting quarterback David Ash is out with concussion symptoms, and coach Charlie Strong once again had to lay down some discipline, this time suspending both of his starting offensive tackles. That means backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes will play against BYU on Saturday night behind a patchwork offensive line that has a total of five career starts.

But Strong, in his first season as Texas' coach, is not too concerned.

"It's not like it's the end of the world," Strong said this week of Ash's injury before he suspended tacklesDesmond Harrison and Kennedy Estellefor team rules violations. "Weknow we have got to go play a football game, and that's what we're going to go do."

BYU was supposed to be a litmus test for Strong and Texas, a chance to see just how far he'd taken the Longhorns after nine months and one game. But the latest wave of injuries and suspensions has Texas fans in a panic that if Texas loses, the team could be in for more struggles.

And if that's not rough enough, remember that it was BYU (1-0) and Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill who rolled up 550 yards rushing in a 40-21 romp over Texas (1-0) last season.

Ash played all but the final snaps of the season-opening 38-7 win over North Texas. He didn't alert Texas officials of any problems until about 90 minutes after the game, when he complained of headaches and dizziness.

Now the Longhorns must rely on Swoopes under center. It may speak volumes that before training camp, Strong declared Ash, who hadn't played in nearly a year, as his clear No. 1 without even hinting at a quarterback competition.

At 6-foot-4 and nearly 250 pounds, Swoopes is big. He'll have to be mobile if a rebuilt offensive line struggles to protect him.

"Ty is ready," Texas quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson said. "He can hurt you at running the football, he's got a very strong arm."

Texas had no choice but to sit Ash down for a while. The suspensions are just the latest example of Strong's "get tough" approach that have a huge impact on the field for the coach in the first season of a five-year, $25 million-plus contract.

Harrison already missed the first game under suspension and had been reinstated only as of Monday. Estelle joining him means strong will have at least four potential starters on the sideline under suspension.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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