North Texas kick returner Keegan Brewer went nearly the length of the field for an early touchdown in Saturday’s contest against Arkansas.
Razorbacks players never saw it coming because they thought Brewer signaled a fair catch. Except he didn’t. No whistle was actually blown.
Catching the ball at North Texas’ 10-yard line, Brewer caught the ball and began casually walking — as if he was executing a fair catch. Then after Arkansas players walked passed him he darted off towards the end zone, leaving his opponents no time to recover from the spoof.
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That touchdown gave the Mean Green an early 14-0 lead.
There’s no NCAA rule permitting what Brewer did, as sneaky as it was. There are rules against signaling a fair catch and then running with the ball (that’s a delay of game). The key, though, is that the returning team has to make a valid fair catch signal, which Brewer made none. Arkansas players just expected him to.
It’s unclear if Brewer executed the play intuitively on his own or if coaches instructed him to do so.