Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: June 9, 2019

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: June 9, 2019

Perhaps the most incredible record in Illini sports history belongs to a man that was born 91 years ago today. What Al Brosky achieved as a defensive back in the 1950s is one that has no comparison. His NCAA record of notching a pass interception in 15 consecutive games is significantly more impressive in that opposing quarterbacks purposely threw their passes away from him. In 28 collegiate games, Brosky picked off a national-record 30 interceptions, a mark that still stands 67 years later.

Other amazing Illini records, in chronological order:

— Coach Arthur Hall's 1910 Illinois football team recorded a perfect 7-0 record. More amazingly, that squad outscored its seven opponents, 89-0. It's a feat duplicated by only 19 others teams in the history of college football.

— George Huff's 1910 Illini baseball squad had a perfect 14-0 record. John Buzick, the team's premier pitcher, completed all 10 of the games he started.

— From Feb. 21, 1914, through Feb. 9, 1916, UI's basketball team won 25 games in a row, including 17 consecutive conference victories. The average score during this span of games was Illinois 27.5, opponents 13.8.

— On Nov. 5, 1916, Illinois handed Minnesota's so-called "perfect team" its only loss of the season, 14-9. In the Gophers' other six games that year, UM outscored its foes, 339-14.

— In the dedication game of Illinois' Memorial Stadium on Oct. 18, 1924, Bob Zuppke's Illini defeated mighty Michigan, 39-14. UI's superstar running back, Red Grange, scored touchdowns the first four times he touched the ball, tallying on runs of 95, 67, 56 and 44 yards.

— Athletic Director Doug Mills' teams dominated Big Ten championships from the 1950-51 season through the 1953-54 campaign, winning 23 of the conference's 48 titles.

— On Nov. 8, 1980, Illini quarterback Dave Wilson carved up Ohio State's vaunted pass defense, completing 43 of 69 passes, tossing for 621 yards and completing six touchdown passes. Thirty-nine years later, Wilson's 621-yard day remains as the Big Ten single-game record.

— As a junior in 1987, Illini baseball's Darrin Fletcher batted a stunning .497. His slugging percentage that season was .913. Both are all-time Illinois records.

— On Sept. 22, 1990, Illinois' Howard Griffith became the first player in NCAA Division I football to score eight touchdowns in a single game. Griffith scored three touchdowns (51, 7, 41) on consecutive carries and scored four touchdowns in the third quarter.

— Beginning with a season-opening win against Ball State on Jan. 26, 2003, and continuing through an NCAA quarterfinal match versus Vanderbilt on March 25, 2004, Illinois tennis assembled 64 consecutive dual-meet victories.

— Illinois' 2004-05 men's basketball squad began the season with a perfect 29-0 record. Included among the highlights were victories over seven nationally ranked opponents, including No. 1 Wake Forest.

— Including Adrien Dumont De Chassart in 2019, Illinois men's golfers have won nine consecutive medalist awards at the Big Ten Championship.

Illini Birthdays:

Today: David McKinley Freeman, basketball (43)

Monday: David Williams, football (56)

Tuesday: Amber Hunt, track & field

Wednesday: Bill Cole, basketball (30)

Thursday: Joe Spencer, football (25)

Friday: Mary Paterson Kaminsky, swimming & diving

Saturday: Garrett Acton, baseball (21)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore (Third Edition now available in stores). Get more Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter@B1GLLL. His website is www.SportsLLL.com.

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