In the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, a former Wisconsin Badgers running back shined brightly inside NRG Stadium.
Former UW standout James White broke a receiving record and scored three touchdowns—including the game-winner in overtime—in the Patriots’ 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI on Sunday night.
White broke the Super Bowl record for receptions with 14 for 110 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 29 yards on six carries and two scores. Along with a two-point conversion, the back’s 20 points also set a Super Bowl record in that category.
The Fort Lauderdale native scored the AFC champions’ first touchdown, a five-yard catch, with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
Wisconsin ➡️ #SB51— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) February 6, 2017
James White stepping up with a big game on the biggest stage.#OnWisconsin || #Badgershttps://t.co/4yW2bKCFcv
White also successfully converted a two-point conversion when taking the snap in a Wildcat-like formation with under six minutes left in the fourth quarter. That pulled New England to within eight points at 28-20.
The 5’10, 205-pound back would be called on once again on the Patriots’ final offensive drive in regulation, catching two passes for 20 yards on their 10-play, 91-yard series. His one-yard touchdown run allowed New England to successfully attempt the game-tying two-point conversion on a pass from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola.
In overtime, White again caught two receptions, but pushed his way across the goal line for a two-yard touchdown to give the Patriots their fifth Super Bowl championship.
IT'S OVER! IT'S OVER!— NFL (@NFL) February 6, 2017
JAMES WHITE WINS IT FOR THE @PATRIOTS!
WHAT A GAME! #SB51 #PATRIOTS https://t.co/nZzQJGWRmC
During the regular season, White caught 60 passes-second on the Patriots behind wide receiver Julian Edelman—for 551 yards and five touchdowns. He also contributed 166 yards on 39 carries (4.3 yards per attempt) on the ground.
White finished his Wisconsin career fifth all-time in rushing yards (4,015) and tied for third in rushing touchdowns (45). His 48 total touchdowns rank him third in school history in that category, and ninth in Big Ten conference history —this while not being the lone featured tailback in any of his four years in Madison. He was the consensus Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2010, and was drafted by New England in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft (130th overall).
James @SweetFeet_White is out there putting on a show!— Derek Watt (@DerekWatt34) February 6, 2017
LETS GOOOOOOOO @SweetFeet_White !!!!— Corey Clement (@CoreyClement_6) February 6, 2017
NOW THATS A WISCONSIN RUNNINGBACK RIGHT THERE!!!— marcus trotter (@PrinceVytas) February 6, 2017