The Pitt football program not only has two defensive players as semifinalists for the Bednarik Award but they also have two members of their special teams qualify as semifinalists for two separate kicking awards.
Junior punter Kirk Christodoulou was named a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to college football’s top punter. The native of Australia is having his best season at Pitt as he’s averaging 44.7 yards per punt, with a net average of 42.7 yards/punt. Christodoulou has been tremendous with helping his defense out by placing 22 of his punts inside the 20 yard line and has had just one punt for a touchback.
Christodoulou has been rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 1 punter in FBS.
Senior placekicker Alex Kessman was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the top placekicker in college football.
Kessman has recorded 86 points this season, which is 12th in FBS and holds the NCAA record for the top percentage of field goals made of over 50 yards. Kessman has converted 66.7% of his over-50-yard attempts (12 of 18). The senior from Michigan leads the ACC and ranks seventh nationally with an average of 1.90 field goals per game.
Kessman is Pitt’s first Groza semifinalist since Chris Ferencik in 1995, while Christodoulou is the first Pitt punter named a Ray Guy semifinalist since Dan Hutchins in 2010.