NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior place kicker David Ruffer (Oakton, Va./Gonzaga H.S.) has been named a finalist for the 2010 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award presented by the Discover Orange Bowl. He is the first Irish player to be a finalist for the award given annually to the nation's best place kicker.
Ruffer has connected on all 15 of his field goal attempts and made 32 of 34 extra-point attempts in 2010. He has actually converted 20 consecutive field goals dating back to the Pittsburgh contest in 2009. The 20 straight field goals made is the longest streak in school history and the longest active streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but even more amazing is the fact that the streak has opened Ruffer's collegiate kicking career.
Ruffer is the only kicker in the FBS in 2010 still perfect in field goal attempts. He is also the only kicker in the FBS still perfect for his career and leads all active kickers in field goal percentage. Ruffer also owns the school record for consecutive field goals made in a single season with 15, which ranks as the fifth-most field goals in single-season school history.
Ruffer converted a field goal in 11 straight games, each game in which he has served as the Irish starting place kicker (dating back to the Pittsburgh contest in 2009), before the streak came to an end against Tulsa. The 11 consecutive games with a field goal was the longest streak by a Notre Dame kicker since Nicholas Setta set the school record with a field goal in 16 straight games (2000-02).
Ruffer's 50-yard field goal against Pittsburgh earlier this season, which actually broke the previous school record for consecutive field goals, was tied for the sixth-longest field goal in school history. It was the longest field goal by an Irish player since D.J. Fitzpatrick booted a 50-yarder against Syracuse on Dec. 6, 2003. Ruffer became the sixth place kicker in school history to connect on a field goal of 50 yards or longer.
Ruffer and the other two finalists, Dan Bailey of Oklahoma State and Danny Hrapmann of Southern Miss, will be honored at the 19th Annual Lou Groza Awards Banquet on Tuesday, Dec. 7th at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. For more information on the Groza Award and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, visit www.palmbeachsports.com. The winner will be announced live on the nationally televised Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on the evening of Dec. 9.
The award is named in honor of one of the all-time great kickers in football history, Lou Groza. Groza played 21 seasons for the Cleveland Browns setting numerous franchise records, including most games played, most points scored, and an amazing 107 consecutive games in which he scored a point. The 1,608 career points he scored is still a Browns' franchise record, and he ranks third all-time in league. Groza was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.