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The No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners will leave the Horns celebrations, up or down, to the No. 11 Texas Longhorns during Saturday’s Red River Showdown.
“Our players won’t do it,” Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley told reporters Monday in reference to the Horns Down gesture, meant to mock Texas’ long-standing Hook ‘Em Horns tradition. It is not limited to Oklahoma and is used by other Texas opponents.
Last season against West Virginia, Mountaineers quarterback Will Grier and receiver David Sills V were penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct because they did Horns Down during their 42-41 win over Texas.
Former Sooners quarterback and reigning Heisman Kyler Murray also did so on a CBS broadcast. The phenomenon gained more steam when OU defeated Texas in the Big 12 championship despite Murray telling ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter in the days ahead of the game that the team had “been warned not to.”
While the Sooners football team won’t be employing Horns Down, Oklahoma fans didn’t adhere to the same guidelines:
The controversy was addressed at Big 12 media days over the summer.
“It depends,” conference coordinator of football officials Greg Burks said (h/t Dallas News). “If somebody scores real quickly, turns to their cheering section, and it’s real quick and moves on, we’ll probably not react like that. If they happened to turn to the other crowd or the other bench or it’s prolonged toward another player, it will be treated like any other unsportsmanlike act.”
The OU-Texas matchup will be charged regardless, with the Sooners undefeated at 5-0 and the Longhorns right behind them at 4-1.