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Nov. 8, 2005

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – University of Virginia kicker Connor Hughes (Williamsburg, Va.) is one of 20 semifinalists for the 2005 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 14. The award will be presented during a ceremony on Tuesday, December 6, 2005, at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott.

A panel of over 300 experts vote on the award, including Division I-A head coaches, sports writers and sportscasters, conference representatives, professional kickers and all previous Groza Award finalists.

The award, now in its 14th year, is named for National Football League (NFL) Hall-of-Fame kicker Lou 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. Nicknamed “The Toe,” Groza was one of the first people to truly make kicking an art form, and he helped usher in to football the idea that a player could be used exclusively for kicking.

A preseason All-American, Hughes has had a spectacular senior season. He leads the Cavaliers in scoring with 73 points, going a perfect 25-for-25 on extra points and 16-19 on field goals. Also a semifinalist for the Groza Award as a sophomore, Hughes has set two career records this fall. He is UVa’s all-time scoring leader with 306 points (10th in the ACC), breaking a 90-year old record. He also stands first in UVa’s career field goals with 61 (5th in the ACC).

The Cavaliers (5-3, 2-3 ACC) host No. 24 Georgia Tech (6-2, 4-2 ACC) this week. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. on ABC.

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