Miami Hurricanes Alum Matt Bosher Excels in Super Bowl LI
Bosher punted six times in the Super Bowl for a total of 282 yards. That comes out to a 47 yard average. Four of his punts landed inside the 20 yard line. The Patriots returned four of those punts for a total of 39 yards. Twenty-six of those return yards came on one play.
Bosher was also busy in the first half handling kickoffs. He began the game with a booming 65 yard kickoff that resulted in a touchback for New England. He then pinned the Patriots inside their own ten yard line on his first punt.
Atlanta’s first drive stalled at their own 40. Bosher kicked a 55 yard punt. The Patriots Julian Edelman returned it five yards to the New England ten yard line.
Bosher equaled the 55 yarder on his second punt of the game. After the Falcons second drive stalled at their own 38, Bosher’s punt once again kept the Patriots inside their own 20. Edelman was only able to return the punt nine yards to the Pats 18 yard line.
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The Falcons got on the board first with a five yard touchdown run by former Florida State star running back Devonte Freeman to take a 7-0 lead. Bosher’s 69 yard kickoff was returned by Patriots running back and former Hurricanes opponent from Pittsburgh Dion Lewis to the New England 16.
After the Falcons extended the lead to 14-0, Bosher kept the Patriots on their own 20 with his second touchback of the game. New England would drive to the Atlanta 23 before Robert Alford returned a Tom Brady pass 82 yards for a touchdown to extend the Falcons lead to 21-0. Bosher’s ensuing kickoff resulted in the third New England touchdback of the first half.
After Atlanta went three and out on their first drive of the second half, Bosher let go of another big punt. His 56 yard punt pushed Edelman back to the New England 21. Edelman got off his only big return of the game. He returned the punt 26 yards to the Patriots 47 yard line.
The Falcons would drive for their fourth touchdown after the New England drive stalled. The score gave the Falcons a 28-3 lead and seemed to put the game away. Bosher got his fourth touchback on five kickoffs following the touchdown.
An Atlanta drive stalled after a New England touchdown cut the lead to 28-9. Bosher would receive a delay of game penalty before his next punt. He subsequently punted 44 yards to the Patriots 14. A Patrick Chung return went for a loss of one and New England took over at their own 13 yard line.
Bosher next saw the field after what proved to be the most critical drive of the game. It appeared Bosher would come into the game to hold for a Matt Bryant field goal attempt which could have pushed the Atlanta lead to 11 points
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Atlanta got to the New England 22 following an incredible catch by Wide Receiver Julio Jones. Matt Ryan was sacked for a loss of 12 two plays later to push the Falcons back to the New England 35 yard line. Jake Matthews was called for holding on the next play for another loss of ten to push Atlanta back to the Patriots 45 and take the Falcons out of field goal range.
After an incomplete pass, Bosher came on to punt. He hit a 36 yarder that Edelman had to call a fair catch on at the New England nine yard line. The Patriots drove 91 yards in 3:33 for the game tying touchdown.
After a Falcons drive stalled with 11 seconds remaining in the game, Bosher had to come on for his final punt of the night. Bosher’s 38 yard punt caused Edelman to signal for another fair catch at the New England 27 yard line. The Pats took a knee that resulted in the first overtime in Superbowl history.
Atlanta lost the toss in overtime. When you have Tom Brady as your quarterback, you take the ball. New England did. Bosher’s kickoff resulted in another touchback. It was Bosher’s last duty of the night. The Pats drove the length of the field and New England had the greatest comeback in Superbowl history.
Bosher is the 118th player from Miami to appear in a Super Bowl. That is the most in NFL history and two more than USC who is second. He is only the second punter from Miami to appear in the Big Game. Jeff Feagles who’s son Zach just signed a letter of intent with UM appeared in Super Bowl XLII with the New York Giants. That was his 20th year in the NFL.