Texas A&M hasn’t played a home football game in more than a month and is quite ready to experience the healing power that comes from the vibe an excited fan base brings.
“I think we’ll draw a lot of energy from being at home. I don’t think being back home could come at a better time. Our guys are anxious to get back on the field and prove who they are,” A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said earlier this week.
The Aggies last played at Kyle Field on Sept. 13 in a 38-10 win over Rice. Since then they’ve played at SMU, against Arkansas in Dallas, followed by an open date before playing at Mississippi State last weekend.
It was a 48-31 beating in Starkville the produced the need for A&M players to prove who they are.
“We’re very excited to be back in front of our home crowd,” A&M quarterback Kenny Hill said. “This is a big week. A win could put us right back where we want to be.”
Kyle Field seats 106,000 fans. In recent years the noise could escape the south end zone that opened up to the Texas prairie.
Renovation has taken care of that. The south end zone is enclosed now, and the noise stays inside the stadium.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze piped in some noise to to the Rebels’ practices this week including the Texas A&M fight song.
“What I heard, College Station … they say it’s the loudest place in the nation. The crowd, that 12th man … we know what we’ve got to do. Offensively they’ve got to handle their side, make sure of their signals and that they’re on the right page. Defensively we’ve got to keep going off the momentum we’ve built the last couple of games,” said Ole Miss cornerback Mike Hilton, who will likely play strong safety in the first half in place of the suspended Trae Elston.
Ole Miss played at a large and loud venue last year, and the result was a big win at Texas.
Hilton doesn’t believe that matters this weekend.
“Yeah, we did, but that was Texas. This is Texas A&M. It’s a big SEC game.”