NORMAN — Oklahoma players won’t risk a penalty by flashing the “Horns Down” symbol during Saturday’s game at Texas.
That’s by OU coach Lincoln Riley’s orders.
Riley has asked the Sooners not to after the Big 12 left gray area about how teams will be penalized for using the hand gesture — a movement in which the index finger and pinky point downward, also known as “Reverse Hook ‘Em Horns.”
Big 12 coordinator of officials Greg Burks said in July at Big 12 media days that the gesture will be penalized if viewed as taunting. For instance, he said, if it were done quickly and toward opposing teams’ own fans, that may be viewed as less egregious than if it were a “prolonged” celebration.
A 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty isn’t worth it to Riley in a game that can shift Big 12 and College Football Playoff implications. OU has been penalized enough, ranking 115th nationally in penalties per game.
“Obviously we know about the recent thing with the ‘Horns Down,’” OU linebacker Kenneth Murray said. “But that’s not our focus, because at the end of the day we know stuff like that is going to hurt us as a team. The only thing that matters to us is winning this ball game. If that’s gonna hurt us as a team, then that’s not going to be done.”