Texas has plenty of reasons to look forward to its first road trip of the season Saturday at Ole Miss, beginning with getting its first good look at sophomore quarterback David Ash in a hostile environment after two easy wins over Wyoming and New Mexico in the familiar, friendly confines of Darrell K. Royal Stadium. The Rebels should also be a useful measuring stick for Texas before it hits the ground running in Big 12 play against Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Oklahoma in consecutive weeks.
But mainly, as a pair of veteran Longhorns told the student paper, the Daily Texas, they're looking forward to going to Oxford for the chance to play in front of a crowd that actually makes a little noise for a change:
…it's the kind of environment that senior safety Kenny Vaccaro not only enjoys, but embraces. He revels in the fact that 60,000 people will cheer against him, so much so that he prefers playing at away games over suiting up at home.
"I like without a doubt playing on the road better than playing at home," Vaccaro said. "It's way louder and gets me way [more excited]. No offense to our fans, but [DKR] is not loud."
"Kyle Field is loud, man," Vaccaro said. "Kyle Field gets wild."
No offense taken, Kenny: Even ardent, engaged Texas partisans have been known to refer to DKR as "The Library" for the crowd's general reluctance to whoop it up compared to, say, Texas A&M. (Although from personal experience, I can say there is a good deal of very awkward yet enthusiastic high-fiving.) Longhorns fans are very much like Michigan fans – smart, into the game, mostly patient, but not prone to losing themselves in a collective frenzy. The student section, maybe, but for alumni, that sort of thing is simply -- well, not done. For most of them, the suggestion that it is done at Texas A&M is all the more reason not to start.
What it lacks in audible fervor, though, DKR makes up for in sheer quantity. According to official attendance records, more than 100,000 people showed up to each of Texas' first two home games, or about 65 percent more than 60,580-seat Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford even holds, a reminder that even noise is occasionally judged according to weight class rather than actual decibels. If Ash takes care of the ball and the oddsmakers are right about Texas as a 10-point favorite, Ole Miss and its fans might not have much to cheer about, either.