Boucher returns as Miami starter after 2 years on bench

By Matt Overing

[email protected]

After 966 days without starting a football game, Miami University (Ohio) senior quarterback Austin Boucher started for the RedHawks against Marshall last weekend, and will start again in Commonwealth Stadium against UK on Saturday.

In 2010, Boucher filled in for Zac Dysert in the final four games of the year. Dysert, now with the Denver Broncos, suffered a lacerated spleen while playing against Bowling Green State University on Nov. 10, 2010. Boucher took his place and led Miami down the field, setting up a game-winning 33-yard field goal as the time expired.

Boucher started and won the final three games of the year for Miami, including the MAC Championship and the 2011 Bowl. In the bowl victory, Boucher threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns and was named bowl MVP, earning a kiss on the cheek from NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.

Despite Boucher’s strong finish in the 2010 season, Dysert returned and started the next two seasons for Miami.

“I’ve always prepared myself to be the starter, and even though I wasn’t, I still tried to be a leader,” Boucher told the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio).

Boucher’s teammates voted him captain this season.

“It’s a great honor,” Boucher told Miami All-Access. “I’m very thankful. More than anything, I’m glad the team looked to me as a leader. I’m excited to lead the team and have a great year.”

This season, Boucher will be leading a team that lost 10 starters — five on offense and five on defense. The young RedHawks have just 12 seniors on the roster, compared to 51 freshmen and 23 sophomores, according to Miami’s athletic department.

Boucher started Miami’s season opener against Marshall on Aug. 31. He threw for 165 yards on 10-of-22 passing, including one touchdown and one interception in the 52-14 loss.

Miami and Marshall were tied at 14-14 at the end of the second quarter. Head coach Don Treadwell said that Boucher played well in the first half.

“In the first half, (Boucher) did just about what you want,” Treadwell said. “I thought he was in good command and in charge of what we were doing.”

Boucher will start against a UK defense that gave up 271 yards through the air to junior Western Kentucky University quarterback Brandon Doughty.

Doughty completed 27 of 34 passes, including a nine-yard touchdown pass.

When asked about what was different this year for Miami, Boucher told Miami All-Access that the team is motivated.

“After two 4-8 seasons, we know what it takes to win. We have an offense that is excited and ready to make plays,” Boucher said.

Miami will square off against UK in the Cats’ home opener at noon on Saturday.