Cowboys voice thoughts on Bedlam matchup

What do they really think? Even after they tell you, it probably still isn't the truth.

The annual Bedlam football matchup usually brings out the nasty in everyone. Players, coaches, fans and even equipment managers.

Keeping a handle on things proves a difficult task. Some can do it, some can't.

"I don't think as a player, you can have a hatred about it," said senior wide receiver Terrence Davis-Bryant. "First we gotta go out and practice and get ready for the game and then once we get on the field we can play it out on the field and bring the hatred out there."

Fans across the state of Oklahoma are gearing up to support their Oklahoma team of choice Saturday, and with state bragging rights on the line, the anticipation by fans can get a little out of hand at times.

"All the jokes, yeah, that's cool," Bryant said. "But as players, we try to keep our minds clear."

Bryant said personally, he tries to keep the game in perspective, and concentrate on what happens on the turf.

But, when things do turn to trash-talk, Bryant said he doesn't mind.

"We like that kind of stuff," Bryant said. "We like people trying to rock us, cause we try to rock them too – that's just football."

And, just as fans handle Bedlam week in various fashion, so do the OSU players.

Putting Bryant's theory to rest, senior offensive lineman Jason Russell was honest with the media about his feelings leading up to the showdown with No. 3 Oklahoma.

When asked if he "hated OU," the offensive team captain didn't hesitate in answering.

"Yes. I don't like them during the OU week. I have family that are OU fans - I love my family, but I don't like them during this week either," he said laughing. "So yeah, it's a hatred from my part."

But, Russell said, having an appetite for competition and a dislike for his neighbors to the south doesn't negate the fact that the Sooners are in the top five for a reason.

"They have a great defense — they have a great team," Russell said. "They have my respect. (OU) can move the ball and the defense can stop the run. I always look forward to this game, it is one of the greatest games."

And then, there are the players who chose to sit on the fence when the topic centered on the rivalry itself.

Senior defensive lineman Kevin Williams, who has 52 tackles and four sacks on the season, said he isn't an OU fan – no matter if Bedlam is around the corner or not.

"I can't remember there ever being a time I wanted them to win," Williams said. "It's just the difference. Once you put the orange on that other color doesn't even matter."

After he thought about his comments, Williams smiled and gave a little retraction.

"The game is played on the field, not on paper," he said.

And after another short pause, he spoke up again.

"You know, you all (media) make it hard to keep it real," Williams said. "When you got people egging you on, you say crazy things."

Just like in any great rivalry across the nation, words are spoken, positive and negative. Boston College-Notre Dame. Florida-Florida State/Georgia/Tennessee. Army-Navy. Ohio State-Michigan. UCLA-USC. Usually, when regional bragging rights are on the line, almost any outcome is possible.

"Anything and everything happens in this type of game," said senior All-American Chris Massey. "You just gotta come out ready to play."

Massey, a laid-back, happy-go-lucky kind of guy, said he wants to beat OU at all cost, but has respect for the Sooners, and harbors no ill feelings.

And, don't be shocked if you see Massey in an Oklahoma eatery sitting alongside OU's Tommie Harris or Teddy Lehman.

"Man, I don't hate anybody," he said. "But when the opportunity comes to play OU, I would like to go out and take it to them.

"Hey, I'll have lunch if they are willing to take me out."

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