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OU football: Referee explains pregame penalty, says scuffle was 'an embarrassment to everyone'

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A referee yells at Texas players as the team argues with the Sooners while leaving the field before the Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl Oct. 12.

DALLAS — Roughly 30 minutes before kickoff at the Red River Rivalry on Saturday, Texas and Oklahoma shared an intense meeting at midfield that led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on both teams.

After the game, Big 12 referee Mike Defee spoke with a pool reporter and discussed his controversial call. He said it was the first time he had to throw a flag before a game, but he was disappointed in the team's conduct.

"At the end of the day, I guess it's a disappointment to a certain extent," Defee said. "We've got two of the best teams in the country, let alone the Big 12 Conference. ... What happened out there was an embarrassment to everyone. It shouldn't happen."

Defee explained that the two teams were "jawing and pushing," and that he was "not sure that there weren't punches thrown." 

After the first flag, any player that received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the game would have been ejected, but no player from either team was flagged. 

The Sooners went on to win the game, 34-27.

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