Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
After making three field goals against Colorado State on Saturday, including a 50-yarder in the first half and the 18-yard game-winner in overtime, Gophers’ kicker Ryan Santoso was recognized as one of three Lou Groza National Collegiate Placekicker Award “Stars of the Week” on Monday. The other two Groza Award “Stars of the Week” coming out of this past weekend’s action are Washington State’s Erik Powell and Western Kentucky’s Garrett Schwettman.
The Lou Groza Award is given each year to the top placekicker in the country, so the recognition Santoso got on Monday should not be discounted. His ability to be in serious contention for the season-long award is probably dependent on his team’s win total above anything else though, and if the Gophers’ offense can’t get going during conference play a disappointing loss or two is a real possibility. But if Santoso continues to comes through in the clutch, and he remains at least relatively unblemished on field goal attempts, nothing can be ruled out in his possible quest for the Groza Award.
Santoso was also stellar on kickoffs against Colorado State, with four touchbacks on five attempts, and he has booted 42 touchbacks in 15 career games. That ability to affect field position should not be overlooked, especially when special teams performance can team with a good Gophers’ defense to cover up an inept offense and win close games.
File this away in the bold predictions column. Last Saturday’s game will be the first of many opportunities Santoso will have to kick a game-winning field goal for the Gophers this season.
To vote for Santoso as the Lou Groza Award “Star of the Week” for this week, and you know you want to…..
Go here: http://www.lougrozaaward.com/15SOTW2
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