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Steelers’ Chris Boswell has successfully executed a Rabona kick before

He sure didn’t do it against the Ravens on Sunday, but he nailed one in college.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell didn’t execute a Rabona-style onside kick correctly on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. In fact, it was the worst onside kick we’ve ever seen. But, we know he is fully capable of doing it right. When Boswell played for Rice University, he nailed a perfect Rabona kick.

In September 2013, the Owls were down 31-26 against their rival, the Houston Cougars, with two minutes left. Rice lined up for the onside kick, and Boswell was right on the money:

The Owls recovered the ball, though they were unable to score on that drive.

Compare that with Boswell’s effort from Sunday, and ... oh, dear.

A Rabona kick is a soccer-style kick in which the kicking leg is brought behind the plant leg before making contact with the ball. When Boswell was at Rice, the direction of the kick caught the announcers, and likely Rice’s opponent, off guard. That element of surprise is an advantage when a Rabona kick is executed correctly.

The Steelers lost to the Ravens with a final score of 21-14, and Boswell’s kick was by far not the only problem for Pittsburgh.

“We came up short,” head coach Mike Tomlin said via Kevin Gorman of the Tribune-Review. “The bottom line is, we put ourselves in a big hole with some adversity, some of which was created by us.”

Boswell was raised in Brazil and played soccer as soon as he could walk, so it’s not surprising that he’s familiar with the Rabona technique. It’s just a little surprising that he executed it so poorly on Sunday.