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Oregon still trying to figure out how Utah pulled off that trick punt return

Somewhere, some of Oregon's punt coverage team is still trying to figure out where the football is.

And we don’t blame them. Most people, including the TV cameras and nearly everyone on the field, could’ve sworn the ball was headed toward Utah’s Britain Covey, who acted as though he was preparing to catch the punt.

But no ball ever landed in Covey’s hands. Instead, near the top of the TV screen, a sprinting Boobie Hobbs could be seen running in a touchdown to extend the Utes’ lead to 55-13.

“They executed a perfect trick play,” Oregon special-teams coordinator Tom Osborne said. “Give them all the credit. It was a trick play and they hit it right.”

Much of that credit belongs to Covey, who sold the fake about as well as you could.

“I watched film to see what I look like when I am actually catching a ball and just tried to emulate that as best as possible,” Covey said. “They all followed me, and I just looked at the guy and said, ‘Gotcha.’ It kind of made [Oregon’s Devon Allen] mad, and he gave me a little shove after that.”

Utah special-teams coordinator Morgan Scalley saw the Rams execute this exact play against the Seahawks last year and brought it to the attention of coach Kyle Whittingham then.

Since coaches teach their coverage team to follow the returner, this seemed like a play that could work well for the Utes if they could just get the right personnel involved.

“Those kids, once they see something like that work and they see their coaches trying to be creative and steal possessions, they get excited,” Scalley said. “They wanted to do it. ... Ultimately, it just worked to perfection. The kicker couldn’t have kicked it any better.”

And Covey couldn’t have sold it better, and Hobbs couldn’t have been more sly.

And yes, Covey wasn’t lying -- both he and Hobbs are in that “Acting for Non Majors” class.

Hey, professor, pretty sure this is the ultimate mic drop for these non-majors. Give these students A’s for their Oscar-worthy performances.

But -- like most everything in college football -- there was no way to completely impress everyone. And Tom Hackett, who was named Pac-12 special-teams player of the week, joked that the only reason he won the award this week was because what Hobbs did wasn't all that impressive.