LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis (pictured) was named one of three Lou Groza Award “Stars of the Week” for his performance in Kentucky’s last-second 40-38 victory over Mississippi State, it was announced on Tuesday, Oct. 25. He was also named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday.
MacGinnis drilled a game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired to give the Wildcats a thrilling victory over the Bulldogs, capping a night that saw him connect on 4-of-5 field goal attempts. It was the first game-winning field goal in the closing seconds of regulation for UK since Seth Hanson hit a 33-yarder to defeat LSU in Baton Rouge on Oct. 17, 1998 and just the second time in school history a kicker made a field goal of at least 50 yards on the final play of the game in a UK victory, the first coming on Nov. 2, 1991 when Doug Pelfrey made a 53-yarder to defeat Cincinnati 20-17 at Commonwealth Stadium.
MacGinnis’ 14 points scored included made field goals from 51, 46, 32 and 32 yards. The Wedowee, Ala. native is now 9-of-11 on field goals this season and 43-of-55 for his career, and owns the school-record for longest made field goal, set when he drilled a 54-yarder at Tennessee in 2014 as a redshirt freshman.
College football’s top kicking award, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission Lou Groza Collegiate Place-kicker Award presented by the Orange Bowl, recognizes three of the top kickers each week from FBS division teams as the “Stars of the Week.”
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.
MacGinnis was joined in in this week’s honorees by California’s Matt Anderson and Utah’s Andy Phillips.
UK Athletics Photo