Blake Mazza and his phenomenal sophomore season came up just short Thursday night at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Atlanta.
Mazza, one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, presented to the nation’s top kicker, lost out to Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship. Iowa’s Keith Duncan was the third finalist for the award.
The Cougars’ redshirt sophomore, who carried a perfect field-goal streak into WSU’s home finale against Oregon State, finished 20 of 21 this season after making his first 18 attempts and had fewer misses than Blankenship and Duncan.
Of that trio, Mazza also had the longest field goal, knocking in a 51-yarder in a rainy game at Utah in October. Blankenship’s longest kick of the season was 50 yards while Duncan’s was 49.
Blankenship and Duncan each missed more than one field goal, but they logged more attempts than Mazza, whose offense scored 59 touchdowns this season, compared to the 47 scored by Georgia and 29 scored by Iowa.
Blankenship, a former walk-on, connected on 25 of 31 field goals this year while the Hawkeyes’ Duncan was 29 of 34. Mazza, who made a winning field goal against Stanford last season, didn’t have that opportunity in a game this season, while Duncan converted the decisive kick to beat Nebraska earlier this season. Blankenship didn’t have a winner, but he did set the Georgia scoring record with 418 career points.
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