This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, college football’s top kicking award presented by the Orange Bowl. Each week the Palm Beach County Sports Commission recognizes three of the top kickers from FBS division teams as the “Stars of the Week.”
Austin MacGinnis showed his strong leg with a 51-yard missile as time expired to give Kentucky a thrilling 40-38 victory over Mississippi State in SEC action in Lexington, KY on Saturday. The junior from Wedowee, AL also made a 46 yarder and hit twice from 32 yards earlier in the game. He has hit four of seven attempts from 50+ yards in his career. MacGinnis added two extra points, making him the first kicker in school history to record two 15-point games in a career and the first Wildcats’ kicker since 1992 to score 15 in an SEC game. He leads all Kentucky scorers with 47 points and is just the third player in school history to reach the 200-point mark before his senior season.
Matt Anderson made amends for a last-second miss in regulation with his 28-yard field goal to end it in California’s 52-49 double overtime defeat of Oregon in Berkeley, CA on Friday night. The junior from Danville, CA also connected from 37 and 22 yards earlier in the game to tie his career high with three makes in a game. His season total of 13 made field goals ties him for fifth in the nation. Anderson added five PATs for a 14-point game to bring his season total to 74, which leads the Bears in scoring and is tied for third among FBS kickers.
Utah kicker Andy Phillips’ 14 points were vital to the Utes’ 52-45 road victory over UCLA in Pac-12 action at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA on Saturday. The senior from Draper, UT made two field goals of 45 yards and then connected from 46 to give the Utes a lead they would not relinquish. Phillips, who has been a Groza Award semifinalist in each of his three years at Utah, added five PATs. He has made 13 of his 16 field goal attempts this season, which puts him in the top five nationally for made kicks. His 65 points lead all Utah players in scoring and rank him among the top-15 among FBS kickers.
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.