In what may charitably be called a “Defensive Slugfest” and what others would probably call “boring,” the New England Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl 13-3 over the LA Rams.
In a game with few highlights, one man stood out. That man is 6-foot-5 inches of punting perfection, and former Beaver, Johnny Hekker. With the previously high octane Rams offense sputtering out in the biggest game of the year, Hekker was called into action nine times over the course of the game. Hekker averaged 46.5 yards on his punts, and buried 5 inside the 20.
Hekker also broke a record in his first Super Bowl appearance, kicking the longest punt in Super Bowl history. Check out this 65 yard beauty.
The previous record holder was the Patriots’ Ryan Allen, who kicked a 64 yarder against Seahawks in 2014. Allen also has some Oregon State history, having walked onto the program the same year Hekker did. After losing out on the punting job, he transferred to Louisiana Tech.
Hekker wasn’t the only Beaver in New Orleans this weekend. Brandin Cooks had a nice game, with 120 yards receiving. Cooks was targeted twice in the end zone, but couldn’t come up with the ball either time. A lot of that is on Rams QB Jared Goff, who overthrew Cooks on their best chance for a touchdown, and performed abysmally overall. Cooks, who played for the Patriots last season, has now lost two Super Bowls in a row.
The only other Beav to suit up for the Super Bowl is former QB Sean Mannion, who was Goff’s backup. Despite Goff’s troubles, Mannion stayed on the bench.
It’s going to be a long, cold spring with no punting, but at least we have college baseball to look forward to.