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Kicker Alex Hale, Punter Tom Hutton Make Respective Award Watch Lists

The Cowboys’ Aussie specialists are each on the national radar as fall approaches.

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It’s #WatchListSZN, meaning the groups that decide who ends up with hardware in December are doing their homework and setting the groundwork in July.

These lists amount to little more than that, but they can also serve as an indicator for who is on the national radar — and how much these groups are paying attention.

A pair of Oklahoma State specialists, and Aussies, are among those who have piqued the interest of award committees.

Alex Hale was named to the Lou Groza watchlist and Tom Hutton was named to the list for the Ray Guy Award, each given to college football’s top kicker and punter, respectively.

Hale was a Groza semifinalist and an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention as a freshman, despite missing the final five games of the season. He was injured ahead of the Bedlam in Norman in November and didn’t see the field again.

But during those six games that he was active, Hale was impressive nailing 13 of 14 field-goal attempts and was leading the FBS with 2.17 made FGs at the time he went down.

He did not appear in enough games to qualify in CFBStats.com’s Big 12 ranking, but Hale would have led the league with his 92.9 percent field-goal rate. OU’s Gabe Brkic (20-of-26 for 76.9 percent last year) was this year’s preseason all-conference pick. Hale would have had to miss six of his next 12 to get caught by the Sooner.

Tom Hutton enters his third season booting balls for the Pokes. He earned an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2019 and helped OSU lead the Big 12 in punt return defense in 2020. Hutton won Big 12 Player of the Week honors after his eight punts, averaging 39 yards per, in the 20-18 win at Kansas State.

The Lou Groza Award semifinalists will will be announced Nov. 4 with that list whittled down further to three finalists and then the winner will be announced Dec. 9 at The Home Depot College Football Awards.

The Ray Guy list will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists and then to three finalists to be announced Nov. 23. The winner will also be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards.

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