Feb. 2, 2012
Conference USA will be represented by six former players from six different schools in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, February 5, in Indianapolis. Three New York Giants and three New England Patriots players hail from current C-USA schools. They will battle each other in pro football's biggest game for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, as the both teams aim to win their fourth Super Bowl crown.
Headlining the Giants members with Conference USA ties is running back Ahmad Bradshaw, the team's leading rusher in the regular season with 659 yards. The former Marshall tailback tied for the Big Blue's lead in touchdowns in the regular season with nine and has run for 200 yards in three playoff wins. On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Michael Boley, a former Southern Miss star, was second on the G-Men in tackles with 96 in the regular season and has 17 tackles and two sacks in the postseason. East Carolina's Linval Joseph added 49 tackles and two sacks from his defensive tackle position for the NFC Champions.
New England has one offensive, one defensive and one special teams player from a C-USA school on its Super Bowl roster. Former Houston offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer has battled injuries this season, but when healthy he is the Patriots starter at right tackle. Sterling Moore, a rookie from SMU, joined the Patriots as a practice squad player on Oct. 19. He earned a spot in team lore when he knocked a potential game-winning touchdown pass out of the hands of Baltimore WR Lee Evans in the AFC Championship game, then broke up a pass on the next play to force a field goal try that was missed, sending the Pats to their fifth Super Bowl in 11 years. Former Memphis K Stephen Gostkowski is in his sixth season as the New England placekicker and will be playing in his second Super Bowl. Gostkowski has made 32-of-37 field goal attempts and is a perfect 67-of-67 on PAT tries this season.
Gostkowski and Bradshaw both participated in Super Bowl XLII in 2008 when the Patriots and Giants also met. In that game, New York ended New England's run for a perfect season with a dramatic 17-14 win.
Super Bowl XLVI will kick off on Sunday, February 5 at 6:29 EST at Lucas Oil Stadium. NBC will broadcast the game.