North Texas Has A Trick Phenomenon
When it comes to football, The University of North Texas is rocking it this year. With three games at the start of the season, North Texas has won each contest with a combined score of 148-56, and it could not be more impressive. So far, the play of the year definitely has to be the play North Texas returner Keegan Brewer (#18) made against the Arkansas Razorbacks on their game September, 15. We have to talk about it. Lets dig in.
It’s about midway through the first quarter. Arkansas is facing 4th & 10 and going in for the punt. The ball spirals to Brewer, and he makes a quick jump to catch the ball at the ten yard line, hopping lightly on the ground. He stands their briefly after catching the ball and everyone on the Razorbacks walks around blindly as if the play were over.
However, this is not the end and Brewer slowly walks past the nearest defenders with the football in his hand. He was calm, and collected until he makes a tricky bolt for it. The whistle was not blown. The Arkansas defense, having just been duped, notices Brewer running and futilely tries to chase him down. Down the field, Brewer is flying and is joined by his team in a celebratory run down the sideline and into the endzone.
This 90 yard return touchdown was sold by Brewer’s Oscar-worthy acting to Arkansas by simply standing still as though the play were over. Tricky? You betcha. Can’t be the end of a play until a whistle is blown.
UNT’s Special Teams coordinator, Marty Biagi, played a big role in this trick play’s conception. Brewer and Biagi ran through the play weeks in advance, this trick wasn’t just some random treat. It required trust between the two to pull this stunt.
This play could have been ended before it began, if Arkansas had been aware of this situation. No Razorback was more aware than Grant Morgan (#31), and so unfortunately (for him) that means he is most at fault. Morgan stood opposite of Brewer, unaware of what Brewer had planned, as though the play ended. Morgan reportedly asked “Why aren’t they blowing the whistle?” while Brewer was waiting to make the sudden bolt that landed him the touchdown for North Texas. Without a whistle, there was no reason why the defense should have gave up on the play. UNT banked on that.
This is a good reminder to always wait for the whistle. If you fail to do that, the worst can happen, as demonstrated phenomenally by Brewer. The wide receiver made his mark, as fans of football across the world were talking about this. If you haven't seen it already, you can watch it below. The play went viral on social media, and made SportsCenter’s top 10.
North Texas is kicking off a great season with a 3-0 streak for the first time since 1989 and, now, this trick play. This reminds us that there is more to football success than just a field and players, but also a mindset.
Shakespeare once said “All the world's a stage,”. Never has that been more true in a UNT football game, than with Brewer’s performance. Attentiveness was key to making this work, and Arkansas was left with a lesson: play until you hear a whistle next time.
Header image design by Clarissa Baniecki