When he was still the head coach at Texas, Mack Brown complained that an opponent doing the “horns down” was disrespectful.
I bet he felt some sort of vindication on Friday night.
After Texas Tech receiver T.J. Vasher caught a touchdown against the Longhorns, Vasher did the horns down gesture — you know, Hook ‘Em Horns, but upside-down — toward the Texas crowd. He was surprisingly given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
And to make matters worse, this Big 12 officiating crew somehow missed a blatant targeting foul on a hit on Texas Tech QB Nic Shimonek later in the game.
So the above play — where Texas’ Malcolm Roach very obviously led with his helmet — was not penalized, but a guy arranging his fingers to resemble a bull and pointing them downwards was.
Despite the questionable officiating, it all worked out in the end for Texas Tech. The touchdown pass to Vasher cut the Texas lead to 23-20. Later in the quarter, TTU’s Justus Parker intercepted Texas QB Sam Ehlinger on an ill-advised pass and returned it to the Texas 14.
On the next play, Shimonek was sacked by Poona Ford and sustained the hit by Roach you see above. Though no penalty was called, Shimonek threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Cameron Batson on the very next play to give the Red Raiders a 27-23 win that clinched bowl eligibility.
And if we could go back to the horns down for a minute, I can’t remember a player ever getting a penalty for it before Friday night. I guess it could be considered taunting, but who knows?
Cal receiver Chad Hansen had a particularly memorable one last year:
Ah, sweet, sweet memories.
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