AU’s Carlson named one of three Groza Award “Stars of the Week”

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (palmbeachsports.com) — 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.” 

Daniel Carlson became the most prolific field goal kicker in Auburn football history and helped the Tigers to a 23-16 SEC victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday in Auburn, AL. The 2015 Groza Award finalist connected from 53, 45 and 33 yards to bring his career total to 61. The 53 yarder was the junior’s third this season from 50+ and eighth of his career. He converted both PAT attempts and has not missed an extra point in 132 career attempts. The Colorado Springs, CO native has made 20 of 22 field goal attempts this season, which ties him for second-most in the nation. The 11-point day brought his season total to 101 to lead all Tiger scorers and position him second among FBS kickers.

Minnesota sophomore Emmit Carpenter started things off with a bang when he opened the scoring with a 52-yard field goal in the Golden Gophers’ 44-31 defeat of Purdue in Big Ten action in Minneapolis, MN on Saturday. He added a 53-yard bomb to become only the second FBS kicker this season to make two field goals from 50+ yards in the same game. The Green Bay, WI native also connected from 28 yards to bring his season totals to 16-for-18 on FGs, which ties him for sixth nationally in total makes. Carpenter converted five PATs for a 14-point day. His 83 points are second among all Gopher players and tie for 10th among FBS kickers.

Ole Miss struggled early, but thanks in part to kicker Gary Wunderlich, the Rebels rallied to a 37-27 victory over Georgia Southern in surprising non-conference action in Oxford, MS on Saturday. The junior from Memphis, TN connected from 38, 35 and 29 yards and made his four extra point attempts to move up the national kicking statistics. He has made 16 of his 17 field goal tries or 94.1% which is tied for second-best mark in FBS. His 41 career field goals put him fourth on the Ole Miss all-time list. Wunderlich has scored 83 points to lead all team scorers and place him in a 10th place tie 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.

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