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Syracuse’s Cole Murphy named Lou Groza Award semifinalist

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The senior’s bounceback season has some fans.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

You’ve heard Dino Babers praise Syracuse Orange kicker Cole Murphy this year, and the Lou Groza Award recently made it clear they were paying attention by naming him a star of the week.

On Thursday, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission took it one step further, including Murphy’s name on the list of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award.

Murphy is on the Lou Groza Award’s semifinalist list for the second time in his career. When we first met Cole, he was wowing us as a freshman in 2014, which earned him the honor that year too.

In 2017, Murphy has hit on 16-of-18 field goals and 23-of-24 extra points. His 16 field goal makes are the third most in the country. And he’s not just banking in chip shots. The senior has hit 6-of-8 from beyond 40 yards, including that 53-yard bomb against Miami a couple weeks back.

Murphy is tied for the most kicking points in the conference, with 71 this year.

NCAA Football: Central Connecticut State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

In his career, Murphy is second all-time in made field goals at Syracuse, with 55 overall. He’s fifth in PATs made, seventh in field goal percentage and fifth in scoring. With two more field goals, he’ll tie John Biskup for the most in school history. The two additional makes would also tie him atop the single-season leaderboard with Gary Anderson and Ross Krautman.

Considering he entered the year with questions about his job security, and the constant hemming and hawing from people like us about the kicks out of bounds (which have been addressed, it seems), it’s even more impressive to see Murphy included on this list. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission announces finalists for the award on November 21. Good luck to Cole and hopefully he ends up in the top three.