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.”
The perfect season continued for Northwestern University junior Jeff Budzien when he kicked three field goals in the Wildcats’ 44-29 defeat of Indiana University in Big Ten Conference action in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday. The Hartland, Wis. native tied his season long with a 44 yarder and also connected from 34 and 29 yards. His five extra points extend his school-record career streak to 70 consecutive PATs. He is 11-for-11 on field goal attempts this season, putting him second in the nation in field goals made and the only kicker who has yet to miss on 10 or more attempts. His 52 points lead his team in scoring and place him third in the nation in kick-scoring.
Senior Brett Maher provided the winning score for the University of Nebraska with a 4th quarter 41-yard field goal that completed the Cornhuskers’ come-from-behind 30-27 defeat of the University of Wisconsin in Lincoln, Neb. Saturday night. The Kearney, Neb. native also connected from 38 and 26 yards earlier in the game for his 2nd three field goal game of the season and the fourth of his career. He added three extra points to mark his second 12-point game of the season and his third in double-digits. A Lou Groza Award semifinalist last season, Maher leads the Huskers in scoring with 50 points which is fifth in the nation among kickers.
The Alabama Crimson Tide rolled over Ole Miss 33-14 Saturday night in Tuscaloosa and senior kicker Jeremy Shelley contributed four field goals to the effort. The 2011 Lou Groza Award semifinalist from Raleigh, N.C. scored twice from 38 yards and also hit from 26 and 24 yards. He added three PATs which brought his season total to 45 points, tops for the Tide. He is one of the few “hundred percenters” – those who have not missed a kick of any kind – after five games, with a perfect line of 7-for-7 on field goals and 24-for-24 on extra points.
The Lou Groza Award will be presented as part of the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards 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.