Q&A with Matt Bosher

Matt Bosher has been Mr. Everything for the Hurricanes kicking game. The sophomore has handled placekicking, punting and kickoff duties for the Canes. It is unusual to see a player do all three aspects of the kicking game but Bosher has excelled was recently named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award. Read on to see what Bosher has to say about his success and this weekend's game.

You have seven tackles this year. That's quite a bit for a kicker. Do you take pride in your tackling or is it just something that has to get done?
"I just want to be a part of the team and play. If I can make a tackle to help the team then that's what I'll do."

Coach Shannon says he has told you to take out their legs but you seem to prefer to body slam them. What makes you an aggressive tackler?
"It's whatever works for me right then. If I can get the legs then I'll get the legs but if all I can get is the body then I'll get the body."

Is it true that you weren't just a kicker as a freshman in high school?
"Yeah, my freshman year I played right guard and D-end."

How much did you weigh as a freshman offensive lineman?
"150 pounds."

So you've liked hitting people since then?
"Yeah, I enjoy hitting people. I think that's why a lot of people play football. You can't be afraid of the contact. That was the fun part about playing those positions but I stopped doing that and focused on kicking."

Do you think that has helped you blend in a bit with the team now that you're making hits like the defensive linemen?
"Blend in probably not but hopefully they see that I can do it."

What sends more adrenaline through your body, being backed up in your end zone for a punt or attempting a very important field goal?
"Probably the punt. A field goal you just have to treat it the same way as an extra point. Your head has got to be level the whole time. For a punt you've got to get yourself going a little bit."

What was the worst thing about last year's game against Virginia?
"Losing is always tough so I can't really put a finger on one thing. We just have to go out there and play a tough game this week. They're a good team. We just have to come together and play like we can."

Are there any feelings lingering from last year's game as you prepare for this year's match up against the Cavs?
"You can't really think about what happened in the past. You have to just keep going ahead. We have to just focus on what's ahead of us now. They're a different team than they were last year with different players. We just have to make sure we come out and bring our A game."

Last year's team lost its final four games. How is this team different from last year's heading into the final four games?
"We have a strong team this year. Our guys want to play and they want to win. We wanted to win last year also but we had trouble finishing out sometimes. This year's team I think is finishing very well. We're just doing some things different that we couldn't get through last year."

It seems like every now and then you shank a punt but follow it up with a good punt or a long field goal. How do you explain this? Do you think you're overworked or is it something else?
"Overworked no. It's just a matter of mental clarity or just focus. Just trying to make sure I have all the mechanics down at that moment."

Some kickers say they visualize the kick before they do it. Do you visualize things to try and avoid mistakes?
"I've always tried to visualize. It's something that coaches have always helped me with and a lot of people do. Thinking about what you're going to do and seeing yourself do it before you actually go out there. I think that helps but a lot of people do that."

Do you aim for a particular target when you're kicking, like a fan or a sign or some specific target?
"Yeah. It's kind of like, I hate to quote a movie but "aim small, miss small" from The Patriot. You just pick certain things. You pick one spot out behind the uprights. One small spot so if you miss that you're only missing by a little instead of aiming for the big uprights and missing by a lot."

Do you pick people out or objects or anything in particular?
"Probably letters up on the façade of the stadium. It's just stuff that's in the line of sight when I'm aiming. It's rarely the same thing. It's just something that catches my eye when I'm looking up."

Do you put in extra work outside of practice to perfect your craft?
"Yeah, you kind of have to. Once you get into a rhythm you have to maintain it. I go out with (Matt) Perrelli and Jake Byrne in the off-season all the time. During the season, if we need to work on something we'll do that too. It's just to maintain a rhythm or get back into one."

Does weather affect your kicking at all?
"Not so much not unless it's frigid. It really shouldn't do much. It shouldn't take anything off the ball or anything like that."

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