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Utah kicker Matt Gay wins Lou Groza Award as best placekicker

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)



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SALT LAKE CITY — “Kicker U” added a new award to its wall of fame Thursday.

University of Utah placekicker Matt Gay took home the Lou Groza Award at Thursday’s college football award show. It’s the first Lou Groza Award for the University of Utah.

> The 2017 Lou Groza Award goes to [@MGtweetymonster](https://twitter.com/MGtweetymonster?ref_src=twsrc^tfw) (Matt Gay) Congratulations to all of our Finalists this year! [pic.twitter.com/xaz20HdRxt](https://t.co/xaz20HdRxt) > > — Lou Groza Award (@LouGrozaAward) [December 8, 2017](https://twitter.com/LouGrozaAward/status/938932265090015232?ref_src=twsrc^tfw)

> MATT WINS!!!!!! [pic.twitter.com/WcrlTeMmJM](https://t.co/WcrlTeMmJM) > > — Utah Football (@Utah\_Football) [December 8, 2017](https://twitter.com/Utah_Football/status/938930603696652288?ref_src=twsrc^tfw)

Gay, who transferred to Utah from Utah Valley University earlier this year as a walk-on before earning a scholarship and another year of eligibility, made 27-of-31 field goals this season, including 5-of-6 from 50 yards or more, and was perfect in all 37 point-after-touchdown attempts. Gay also holds the second longest kick (56 yards) in Utah history.

Earlier this week, Gay was named to the first team of the All-Pac-12 team. He was also named to the Associated Press All-Pac-12 team and to the SI.com and SBNation All-American teams.

The Lou Groza Award, which is given to the nation’s best placekicker, was first awarded in 1992 to Joe Allison of Memphis State. A total of seven players from the Pac-12 have won the award, including Gay, and it’s the third consecutive year the Pac-12 has taken home the award. Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez won the award last season.

> .[@Utah\_Football](https://twitter.com/Utah_Football?ref_src=twsrc^tfw)’s Matt Gay the 2017 Lou Groza award winner [\#BackthePac](https://twitter.com/hashtag/BackthePac?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc^tfw) [pic.twitter.com/DhklNBRbuQ](https://t.co/DhklNBRbuQ) > > — Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) [December 8, 2017](https://twitter.com/pac12/status/938932709849677825?ref_src=twsrc^tfw)

Gay was among three finalists for the award, including senior Daniel Carlson of Auburn and sophomore Dominik Eberle of Utah State. Carlson is the first player to ever be voted a finalist for the award three times. Eberle set the Utah State record for field accuracy, making 16-of-18 field goal attempts.

Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky, who was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award for the second consecutive year, was also in attendance at the college football awards show but lost out to Texas' Michael Dickson for the award.

Congrats to @mdcksn on the ray guy award, well deserved lad. Sorry Utah I'll do my best to bring it back home next year. Also big congrats to @MGtweetymonster on the Groza. — Mitch Wishnowsky (@mitchwish) December 8, 2017

Gay and Wishnowsky were both named to the second team of the Walter Camp All-Americans honor Thursday night.

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