AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Off to a 3-0 start and rising in the national rankings, the No. 12 Texas Longhorns are settling into an off week feeling surprisingly good about quarterback David Ash and a bit unnerved by the defense's habit of giving up of big plays for touchdowns.

Ash proved he can be an effective game manager in wins over Wyoming and New Mexico, then turned into a big-play engineer with four touchdown passes in a 66-31 romp over Mississippi.

Ash has a tendency to underthrow on deep routes, but for the first time since Jordan Shipley was catching passes from Colt McCoy in 2009, Longhorns receivers are showing an ability to beat a defender and make a big play.

The Longhorns will need to maintain that sizzle when the Big 12 schedule starts with Oklahoma State, No. 8 West Virginia and No. 6 Oklahoma in the next three games.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.