Entire Oklahoma and Texas teams penalized before Red River Showdown
DALLAS — Who doesn’t like a little pregame ruckus?
The rivalry game between No. 11 Texas and No. 6 Oklahoma got off to a frisky start on Saturday morning. With the teams barking at each other around the 30-yard line at the end of pregame warmups, referee Mike Defee took matters into his own hands.
Defee flagged both programs for unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, barking into the microphone at a volume fitting for the carnival outside at the Texas state fair. It’s unclear what started the jawing, but it didn’t appear to be much different than the normal trash talk before a heated rivalry game.
While the moment appeared genuinely benign, it could end up impacting the game in a big way. The double unsportsmanlike foul call on both teams means, according to Defee’s loud declaration, that any player flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct foul will be thrown out of the game. Defee then had this to add before the pregame coin toss.
This looms over the game because that means any Oklahoma player flashing the “Horns Down” symbol will be thrown out of the game. The specter of “Horns Down” loomed large over the rhetoric of the week, and that ridiculous storyline could actually end up impacting the game in a real way.
The other big pregame development that emerged from the sideline before the game was that Oklahoma will be without one of its key offensive players. Tight end Grant Calcaterra, who has five catches for 79 yards on the year, isn’t dressed for the game. He was on the sideline wearing street clothes and sunglasses prior to the game.