Stars of the Week
College football’s top kicking award, the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission recognizes three of the top kickers each week from FBS division teams as the “Stars of the Week.”
Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien went a perfect 5-for-5 on field goals to match a school record in the Wildcats’ 22-13 victory over Boston College on Saturday in Evanston. The junior from Hartland, Wis. connected from 42, 41, 34, 20 and 19 yards to help his team improve to 3-0 and score its third straight victory over a team from a BCS conference. Budzien has begun the season a perfect 8-for-8 on field goal tries, which is already more than his entire output for last season (6). He converted his lone extra point try and has now converted on all 60 of his PAT attempts which is also a school record.
A career-long 51-yard boot highlighted a victorious Thursday night for freshman kicker Kyle Federico and Rutgers University, as the Scarlet Knights traveled to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. to defeat the University of South Florida 23-13 in a Big East contest. The Ponte Vedra, Fla. native also converted from 30 and 22 yards and added a pair of extra points. The final field goal was part of a 10 point scoring burst in the last three minutes of the game to seal the win. The 51-yard field goal ties for the fifth-longest in school history. Federico also kicked three field goals in a game for the first time in his brief career.
Quinn Sharp accounted for 17 points in Oklahoma State’s 65-24 rout of Louisiana at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday. The senior 2011 All-American and Groza semifinalist from Mansfield, Texas connected on field goals of 51, 44 and 25 yards and was a perfect 8 of 8 on extra point tries. He has not missed a PAT attempt in 25 tries this season and his 37 points lead all kickers in the nation, just as he did during the 2011 season. The 51-yarder was the longest of his career, bettering his previous long of 46 yards. Sharp, who also handles the Cowboys’ punting duties, was one of two players on both the Lou Groza and Ray Guy Award pre-season Watch Lists.
The Lou Groza Award will be presented as part of the ESPNU Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, December 6th. The three finalists will be feted at the 21st Annual Lou Groza Awards Banquet on Tuesday, December 4th at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. For more information on the Lou Groza Award, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, and to vote for your favorite Star of the Week, visit www.LouGrozaAward.com.
National College Football Awards Association
The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, ncfaa.org.
About the Palm Beach County Sports Commission
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities. The Commission offers a full range of event service support, corporate partnerships, sponsorships and a local membership program that support its goals. Local, regional, national and international marketing efforts are ongoing by the Commission with sports organizations and event owners. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the annual Lou Groza Awards program, the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame, the Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches and awards the annual Sam Budnyk Student-Athlete Scholarship. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission go to www.palmbeachsports.com.