North Texas

UNT's ‘Fake' Fair Catch Was Amazing, Just as Mean Green Practiced It

A magical moment on the football field Saturday added an exclamation point to the buzz surrounding University of North Texas football.

Redshirt sophomore Keegan Brewer returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown, extending an early lead as the Mean Green trounced Arkansas 44-17 at Razorback Stadium. It was the way the play came about, that made it special.

On Monday, Brewer's day began just like any other UNT student.

"I had geology," Brewer said.

But his weekend was unlike any other college student-athlete in recent history.

The play Saturday began innocently enough. Brewer, the UNT punt returner, camped under a first-quarter Arkansas punt -- one he might usually wave for a fair catch, but not this one.

"As soon as I caught it, there was one guy directly in front of me, and one guy to my left," he recalled.

Those players were Arkansas special teamers, who thought the play was dead.

"It was kind of like a hopefully he doesn't hit me situation," Brewer said. "As soon as they both started walking off, that's when I knew this play could actually work."

Ninety yards later, Brewer was in the end zone and UNT had a 14-0 lead.

The play in question, a fake fair catch, goes by the name "Peter Pan." Special teams coordinator Marty Biagi drew it up in the offseason.

"They practiced it and practiced it," Biagi said. He said something in the game film indicated to him that the Arkansas game would be a good time to use the trick play.

"That's the best part," he said of its success. "Seeing a guy looking like Peter Pan, flying away. I'm happy for him and everybody."

The touchdown return blew up immediately on social media. Major sports networks showed the play over and over.

"The reaction has really outblown anything that I thought it would be," Brewer said. "I thought, cool touchdown. That's all I thought, but it's clearly bigger than anything I thought it would be."

There's excitement in Mean Green country. The team is 3-0, and folks can't stop talking about that play -- one which would seem like a play fans will never see again.

"I'm a special teams coordinator," winked Biagi. "You never know."

For Brewer, if it is "once in a lifetime" -- that's okay.

"It was excitement more than anything that it actually worked," he said.

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