Nov. 22, 2011
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Saturday’s showdown in the Swamp will feature more than just two rosters full of talented offensive and defensive student-athletes playing for state bragging rights. It will also feature two of the nation’s best kickers competing for some post-season hardware.
Florida State’s Dustin Hopkins was named one of three finalists Monday for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, an honor that is bestowed upon the nation’s best kicker as voted on by a panel of experts assembled by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Hopkins’ counterpart this weekend, Florida’s Caleb Sturgis, is also one of the finalists along with Texas A&M’s Randy Bullock.
Depending on what Bullock does for the Aggies, the annual matchup between the Gators and Seminoles could go a long way towards determining who eventually is named this year’s Lou Groza winner.
But you, the fans, can help too.
Fan votes count toward naming the winner of this annual award as the one finalist with the most online tallies will have an extra vote added to their total after the decision goes to the panel. That means if you want Hopkins to have a gold-footed leg up in the competition, you should go to the Lou Groza website today and scroll to the bottom of the voting page to support the Seminoles’ special teams star.
Entering the final regular-season game of the season, Hopkins has made 20 of his 24 attempted field goals and is a perfect 41-of-41 on extra-point tries. He already holds the school record for consecutive extra points made as his record-breaking streak is currently at 127 one-pointers in a row and he is just 76 points away from becoming FSU’s all-time leading scorer.
Hopkins’ 101 points currently leads all kickers in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
FSU and Florida kick off at 7 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in a game that will air live on ESPN2.