- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Kyle Brindza made the 30-man watch list Wednesday for the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the nation's top kicker.
Brindza filled in for an injured Nick Tausch during Week 2 and hit a game-winning 27-yard field goal with seven seconds left to beat Purdue, never looking back.
He made 23 of 31 field goal attempts on the year, breaking John Carney's Notre Dame record for both makes and attempts in a season. (Carney nailed 21 of 28 attempts in 1986.)
Brindza went 28-for-29 on extra point tries, and he handled kickoff duties all season long for the Irish, averaging 62.6 yards on 71 kicks, finishing with 26 touchbacks.
His five field goals in the regular-season finale at USC tied a school single-game record, and he also came up big late in a Week 6 win over Stanford, connecting from 22 yards out in awful conditions with 20 seconds left to force overtime.
Brindza's story is an unconventional one, as the junior was born with clubfoot, severely hampering his athletic abilities as a young child.
Twenty semifinalists for the award will be announced Nov. 4, with three finalists being unveiled Nov. 25. The winner will be announced during the Dec. 12 Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla.
Last week Brindza was also named to the 32-man place-kicker watch list for the College Football Performance Awards.