Texas Longhorns safety Kenny Vaccaro won't get the chance to play against his best friend on Thanksgiving.
Vaccaro and former TCU quarterback Casey Pachall spent many nights during the summer talking about facing each other on Thanksgiving night, when UT hosts TCU for the first time since 2007. But those dreams ended last month.
Pachall started the first four games of the season for the Horned Frogs, but withdrew from TCU in October after being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Now, the childhood friends from Brownwood are left to wonder what could have been.
"It would have meant a lot," Vaccaro said. "We grew up together, we played football all our lives together and are the best of friends. It's sad that we can't play each other."
Pachall led TCU to 4-0 start this season, including the Horned Frogs' first win in Big 12 play. Redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin has started the last six games for TCU and gone 2-4. Still, Texas coach Mack Brown admires the job TCU coach Gary Patterson has done this year despite all the turmoil.
"He's been able to turn it around, hang in there and win some really tough ball games," Brown said. "That's a true credit to them."
While Vaccaro won't have an opportunity to intercept Pachall, the safety will still see some familiar faces on the visiting sideline.
TCU wide receiver Josh Boyce played against Vaccaro at Copperas Cove High School, and the two know each other well off the field. Boyce is TCU's career leader with 22 touchdown receptions and headlinex a group of receivers that is among the best in the Big 12.
"I think they're going to be one of the better receiving corps we've played this year," Vaccaro said. "They're fast, they're big and they're strong."
By Austin Laymance/Special to the Star-Telegram