If this was the Academy Awards of college football and he was speaking at the dais, Utah Utes punt returner Boobie Hobbs would have some people to thank.
Because the crazy punt return Hobbs ran back for six in Utah’s stunning 62-20 thrashing of No. 13 Oregon Saturday was the handiwork of a few people.
First off, Hobbs would have to thank Utah special teams coordinator Morgan Scalley, an intense sort of fellow who devises crazy plays in his back office, cackling to himself as he draws lines on a computer screen. Kidding.
But really, Utah cornerbacks coach Sharieff Shah gave credit where it was due on Twitter Saturday night after the fact, saluting Scalley for his bravery and creativity.
“Boobie Hobbs’ punt return was the genius creation of my dear friend special teams coordinator Morgan Scalley,” tweeted Shah.
Looking at how this play went down is out of some laboratory, frankly. That it came against Oregon, the team who faked out the universe last year, returning Kaelin Clay’s fumble 100 yards and breaking hearts of every Ute fan, well, that just made this play even more sweet.
It needed the right person to carry it out. And so in that case, Hobbs would have to thank Britain Covey, the wily freshman who has already proven to be dangerous in the short time he’s been in a Utah uniform.
With Covey moving from side to side, appearing to be ready to make a fair catch, the Oregon players moved towards this rook. The key words behind the previous sentence were that Covey appeared to be ready to make a fair catch. (He hadn’t yet signaled for one.)
What was happening as Oregon players had tunnel vision and zeroed in on Covey was that the punt itself was fluttering in the other direction towards the Utes other punt returner, Boobie Hobbs.
Because Oregon’s players had this tunnel vision, dee-de-dee, screaming into Covey’s line of sight, Hobbs had some real estate to make the catch and speed into freedom, sidestepping one Oregon defender on his way to paydirt and a 55-14 Utah lead. Let’s peep Hobbs stat sheet, shall we? The sophomore out of storied Landry-Walker in New Orleans has never scored a TD in his collegiate career and ran back one punt for six yards last year. But yeah, you know Travonne Dawayne Hobbs now–the young man from the Big Easy who prefers to go by his nickname.
Was Hobbs punt return TD crazy? You’d better believe it. And when you peep the selfie Scalley took of both himself and Covey seated on a plane heading back to the SLC, you realize Oregon–and frankly, the TV cameras–just got punked, baby. “Row 16 pride about to head home!!” Scalley tweeted, going home undefeated in the 2015.