Stars of the Week
*This voting poll does not count towards actual award winner.
College football’s top kicking award, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the Orange Bowl recognizes three of the top kickers each week from FBS division teams as the “Stars of the Week.”
Tyler Durbin got Ohio State to overtime in a top-ten road battle at Wisconsin and the Buckeyes’ undefeated season continued with a 30-23 win in Madison on Saturday. Not bad for a walk-on kicker who never played football at any level until this year. The senior from Fairfax, VA kicked a late 31-yard field goal to tie the game, adding to earlier kicks from 40 and 25 yards out for his first career three-FG performance. He added three PATs for a 12-point game, giving him a team-leading 62 on the season, one of the ten best kick-scoring totals in the nation.
Though it came in a 40-16 road loss to Colorado, Arizona State senior Zane Gonzalez broke the FBS record for career points by a kicker with one of the most impressive performances of all time. The record-breaking points came on a 59-yard field goal that moved his career total to 468. The 59 yarder, easily the longest in FBS this year and longest in Sun Devils history, came after prior field goals from 51 and 50 yards, tying the FBS mark for most long range kicks in a single game. The Deer Park, TX native now has six field goals from 50 yards this year, two shy of matching the FBS single-season mark. Gonzalez leads the nation with 19 total field goals and his 95.0% accuracy rate is the best by any kicker with at least 12 attempts.
Western Kentucky needed every one of kicker Skyler Simcox’s 14 points in a 44-43 double overtime win over Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, TN on Saturday. A close game throughout, each of Simcox’s three field goals leveled the score, most importantly his 18 yarder with five seconds left in regulation. The sophomore from Abingdon, VA also kicked a 52 yarder to tie it at the half, and a 42-yard kick get the Hilltoppers on the board. He added five extra points, including the game-winner, for a 14-point performance. With the 52-yard kick, Simcox became just the second kicker in school history with multiple 50-yard field goals in a single season.
The Award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou “The Toe” Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.
For more information on the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award and to see the “Stars of the Week” throughout the season, please go to www.lougrozaaward.com. For even more updates on the best kicking performances throughout the season, follow @LouGrozaAward on Twitter.
The Lou Groza Award will be presented as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards in Atlanta, GA on Thursday, December 8th. The three finalists will be honored at the Silver Anniversary Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker Award Banquet on Monday, December 5th at the Marriott Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
National College Football Awards Association
The Lou Groza Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 22 awards boast 722 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.
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 Award program, the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame and the Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, go to www.palmbeachsports.com.