In what could have been viewed as a sign of things to come on the football field in the first half, the University of Texas' mascot, Bevo, charged the University of Georgia's mascot, Uga, during a pregame meet-and-greet between the two animals at the Sugar Bowl Tuesday night.
Texas and Georgia squared off in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In a moment caught on camera before kickoff, Bevo, a longhorn, barreled through a metal barrier to charge the Uga, an English bulldog wearing a bright red Georgia sweater, before he was restrained by his handlers.
Bevo's head and horns appeared to make contact with several people, including a couple of photographers, who scampered out of the way or were knocked down.
Austin-American Statesman photojournalist Nick Wagner ended up with a bruise to the back.
"I was down on the ground shooting him, kind of getting a different aspect of him coming around, and all of a sudden people started running," said Wagner. "I looked back, and there's Bevo, horns coming right at me and I'm like 'oh boy, better get going.'"
Wagner called it a 'good old battle wound' and joked it's good training for Spain's running of the bulls.
The incident, about an hour before kickoff, was caught on video and quickly became a sensation on social media.
While it appeared to many that Bevo was advancing aggressively toward Uga X, the steer's chief handler disputed that version of events.
Silver Spur alumni association executive director Ricky Brennes, who is in charge of handling the 1,700-pound steer, said Bevo was simply agitated because he wanted to walk and was being restrained.
"He had kind of gone up and bumped the barricade a few times before," Brennes said. "He ran through the gate and into where Uga's area was. It really was more just unfortunate timing and he wasn't aware Georgia's mascot was there. It had nothing to do with the dog."
Texas athletics spokesman John Bianco said "all established safety and security measures were in place for Bevo" at the Sugar Bowl, including two halters, two chains and six handlers to hold him.
Prior to the game, Bevo and Uga were photographed together with the caption "Pals." Bevo's feelings clearly changed once the two entered the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.