Bosher’s misses not a concern for No. 22 Miami

His numbers not withstanding, Miami kicker Matt Bosher has no

crisis of confidence.

Bosher has already missed two extra points this season, plus

caromed another in off an upright, and is merely 7 for 10 on

field-goal tries. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it represents an

almost stunning reversal of form for Bosher, who missed a total of

four field goals and was a perfect 90 for 90 on extra-points coming

into his senior year.

That being said, if No. 22 Miami (5-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast

Conference) finds itself going down to the wire on its trip to

Virginia (3-4, 0-3) on Saturday, Bosher insists he’ll be ready.

”I’m good to go,” Bosher said. ”This stuff just happens. You

take it in stride and it’s part of the game. I think that’s the

mark of somebody who can do well in their job, someone who can take

care of adverse situations and bounce back. I hope I can come back

and I’m confident in my skill. I’ll be fine. I’m ready to go.”

Bosher missed an extra point against Clemson, then pushed

another point-after try wide in last week’s win over North

Carolina. He hit a 51-yard field goal against Ohio State, but

missed two others later in that loss, then was kicking himself

after a 32-yard miss – typically an automatic distance for him – in

the early moments of what became a blowout defeat to archrival

Florida State.

Of the 125 kickers in the nation with no more than 27

point-after tries this season, only 12 have more than one miss. And

the Hurricanes find it surprising that Bosher, who was Miami’s MVP

as a sophomore and is one of the more respected players in the

locker room, is on that list.

”He’s pulling his foot,” Miami coach Randy Shannon said.

Sounds simple, but it’s not. It’s almost the equivalent of a

batting slump in baseball. No one really knows why it happens.

Shannon spent about a minute in the team’s meeting room

demonstrating the technique issues hurting Bosher these days, both

placekicking and punting. He shanked two punts against North

Carolina, but the issue wasn’t his leg, instead the way he was

dropping the ball toward his foot, Shannon said.

All correctable errors, but still uncharacteristic for one of

the nation’s best.

”It’s not the norm,” Shannon said. ”We’ve been evaluating it

all. We don’t kick as much in practice now as we did in the

beginning of the season. Maybe three or four field goals here and

there, but not really a lot of kicking. We’ve got to preserve his

leg.”

With good reason. When Miami sends a kicking team on the field,

Bosher is getting the call.

He’s the placekicker. He’s the punter. He handles kickoffs. Add

them all up, and he’s been called into action 110 times already

this season.

Leg fatigue is a concern of Shannon’s. Bosher shrugs it off,

saying that would only be an excuse.

”In a perfect world, I’d be doing all three jobs, and I enjoy

doing all three. It’s what I’ve done since I was in high school and

I love doing it at the University of Miami,” Bosher said. ”It

allows me to do everything and anything I can for this team. My leg

feels fine. We’re in shape and strong and that really translates to

being able to last throughout a season.”

It doesn’t seem as though fatigue is an issue. Bosher is

averaging a career-best 44.1 yards per punt, ranking 24th

nationally. And although NFL jobs are tough to come by for kickers,

scouts that have passed through Miami insist Bosher will have a

strong shot of getting to play on Sundays after his college days

end.

For now, all that is pushed aside. Bosher doesn’t like letting

his mind wander to the reality that his college career is winding

down. Instead, he just thinks about that next kick, and hopes it

moves Miami closer to finally winning its first ACC title.

”It hasn’t really hit me 100 percent yet,” Bosher said. ”I’m

sure when it’s senior day and my parents and girlfriend are on the

field with me, it’s going to really hit me. It’s something that’s

there, but I can’t focus too much on it yet.”