Florida State's Dustin Hopkins, Florida's Caleb Sturgis & Texas A&M's Randy Bullock have been named finalists for the Lou Groza Award while Louisiana Tech's Ryan Allen
, Auburn's Steven Clark & Oregon's Jackson Rice have been named finalists for the Ray Guy Award.
Hopkins has made 20 of 24 field goals this season and has been a perfect 41 for 41 in PATs. Saturday’s PAT brings Hopkins’ school record streak of consecutive extra points to 127 and he's tied for fourth in the nation in field goals per game.
Bullock is Texas A&M’s all-time leading scorer with 337 points. After 11 games, he has secured 114 points, converting 21 of his 25 tries and 51 of 53 PATs. With an 84 field goal percentage, Bullock is tied for the number two rank among kickers in the nation in field goals made.
Sturgis has completed a perfect 27 for 27 PATs, while his 21 field goals tie him with Bullock for second in the nation for field goals made. Sturgis leads the South Eastern Conference in field goals made and has made 3 field goals over 50 yards, more than any other SEC kicker this season.
Allen has sent 23 punts (38 percent) over 50 yards including a 72-yard punt at Mississippi State that ranks fourth longest in school history. Over 53 percent of his punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line while only four of his 60 punts on the year have been for a touchback. Allen is averaging approximately 5.0 seconds per punt in hang time this season, forcing 20 of his 60 punts to be fair caught.
Only eight of Steven Clark's punts have been returned this season and he's averaging 40.1 yards per punt. Clark leads the SEC and is second in the NCAA with 25 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Rice leads the Pac-12 and ranks third in the nation with a punting average of 46.85. He has been a key contributor as the Ducks lead the NCAA in net punting (44.24).
Dan Bailey took home the Groza Award last season after making 24-of-28 field goal attempts during Oklahoma State's 11-2 season. He was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, eventually assuming the team's starting role. Chas Henry, last year's Ray Guy winner from Florida, found similar success at the next level, taking over as the starting punter of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Both players have a ways to go before matching the accomplishments of their trophies' namesakes, however. Groza played just one season for the Ohio State Buckeyes before being drafted into the army. He joined the Cleveland Browns in 1946, playing both placekicker and offensive tackle. Guy is still the only pure punter to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. He punted for 13 seasons with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.