Brad Craddock named Lou Groza Award semifinalist

Brad Craddock named Lou Groza Award semifinalist
November 5, 2013, 9:15 am
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Edsall on 'next man up' mentality

(Associated Press)

Prior to the start of the 2013 season, there was one lasting image of Brad Craddock in a Maryland uniform.

That image was of him sprawled out on his back in disbelief on the field at Byrd Stadium, moments after his game-winning field goal attempt clanged off the left upright on Nov. 20, 2012 vs. NC State.

But this year has been different for Craddock, a native of Australia.

He has connected on 15-of-18 field goals, including missing just one from within 49 yards, and now finds himself as one of 20 semifinalists for the 2013 Lou Groza Award, honoring the nation's best place-kicker.

Craddock's season-long field goal of 50 yards helped Maryland to blowout 37-0 win over West Virginia on Sept. 21 and he ranks seventh in the FBS with 1.88 field goals per game.

Part of his success this season, as he alluded to following the victory over West Virginia, is his work with former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover. He has worked with Stover since February and especially sought out his expertise prior to Maryland's game against WVU, which took place in Stover's former home at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

"I've been feeling pretty confident all year," Craddock said in September. "It was the same as last week and the same as the week before. It's just doing that same routine and same structure every week, I guess."

Finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 25 and the winner will be named on Dec. 10 during 22nd annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet in West Palm Beach, Fla.