College Football Awards Show to Air Tonight
Dec. 6, 2007
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Junior kicker Austin Starr is one of three players up for the Lou Groza Award, which will be presented tonight at the ESPNU College Football Awards show, televised live on ESPN from 7:30-9:30. Other finalists for the Groza Award are Arizona State's Thomas Weber and UTEP's Jose Martinez.
Starr gave the Hoosiers their first victory in the Old Oaken Bucket Game since 2001 when he connected on the game-winning field goal from 49 yards out with 30 seconds remaining. The kick gave Indiana a 27-24 victory and sent the crowd of 50,741 fans - the first sellout at Memorial Stadium for the Bucket Game since 1989 - into a frenzy. Starr also added a 42-yarder in the second quarter and hit all three of his extra-point attempts.
The Logansport, Ind., native matched his career long, picked up the third game-winning kick of his career and his first of the season. He finished the game hitting two field goals to set a new school record with his 19th field goal of the season, topping former NFL great Pete Stoyanovich's 17 in 1988. He also extended his school record by making his 15th attempt in a row in the first half before missing a 42-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Starr tied Stoyanovich's record for single-season extra points with his 45th of the year. He finished the season a perfect 45-for-45, as Stoyanovich did back in 1988. Starr also moved up the single-season points list, finishing the regular season with 102, good for fourth place. He has hit 19-of-21 field goals this regular season (a school record 90.5 percent) and has nailed 10-of-11 from 40-plus yards (90.9).
Weber has connected on 95 percent of his field goals so far this season. He has made 19 of 20 tries, second in the nation among kickers with 10 attempts. His season long came against UCLA when he connected on a 53-yarder in the Sun Devils' 24-20 victory. He has been a major contributor to the Sun Devils 5-1 record in the PAC 10 with two games in which he was a perfect 3-for-3, and he was 4-for-4 in ASU's defeat of Stanford.
Jose Martinez of UTEP is tied with two others for the longest field goal of the season. He booted a 57-yarder against the University of Houston. The strong-legged junior also has field goals of 51, 45 and 42 yards this season. He has connected on 15 of his 18 field goal tries, 83.3 percent. Martinez has been perfect on all 42 of his PAT tries. Martinez has battled back from injury, missing spring football drills as he recovered from a severe ACL injury.
The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award recognizes the top place-kicker in NCAA Division I-A football. Voters for the award include Division I-A head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers, and previous Groza Award finalists.
The award, now in its 16th year, is named for NFL Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou 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. Nicknamed "The Toe," Groza was one of the first people to truly make kicking an art form, and he helped usher in to football the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking.
For more information on the finalists, including photographs and biographies, please visit http://www.lougrozaaward.com/Candidates/index.htm.
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