For about four hours Saturday some of the Oklahoma players will put aside years of friendship for the good of one of the nation’s oldest football rivalries.
Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez is close friends with Texas middle linebacker Peter Jinkens, and Sooners’ quarterback Baker Mayfield grew up in the Austin area. He’ll have so long time friends that are rooting for him to fail tomorrow – or at the very least, rooting for him to lose.
From kickoff until around 3 p.m., those friendships will be put aside.
“That’s how it always is,” said Mayfield, who watched last year’s Red River Showdown from the sideline and played against the Longhorns as a freshman at Texas Tech. “Being from Austin, there’s always Longhorn fans that wish you good luck, but say, hey, I’ll still be cheering for my team. Their starting center was a guy I went to high school with and was teammate of mine at Lake Travis. It’ll be good to go against him.”
Mayfield actually saw his first Oklahoma-Texas game last season from the sideline. Pop Warner football and youth baseball kept him from attending games as a kid.
Relationships that he created as a kid will be put on pause for a couple hours Saturday.
"For those three-and-a-half hours that we're competing against each other, it's like we never knew each other," Sanchez said.