Remembering Howard Griffith's big day

Remembering Howard Griffith's big day

Illini Legends, LIsts & Lore: Howard Griffith’s record day

Sept. 22, 1990, is a date that is steeped in history for Illinois football. It was a day that Howard Griffith penciled his name into the NCAA record book beside those of Red Grange, Jim Brown and Arnold Boykin. Not only did the Illini senior gain 208 yards on 21 attempts but it also was a day when an amazing 38 percent of his runs ended in the end zone. Surprisingly, after the first quarter, Illinois trailed visiting Southern Illinois 21-7. That’s when Griffith went into overdrive, scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter and four more in the third period. His eighth TD came with 1:25 left in the third quarter, breaking two NCAA records. Not only did Griffith snap the national mark for touchdowns in a game — seven, by Mississippi’s Boykin in 1951 — the 48 points he accounted for that day broke the immortal Brown’s record of 43 points scored for Syracuse against Colgate in 1956. Griffith’s eight touchdowns:


1.        First quarter – 5-yard run

2.        Second quarter – 51-yard run

3.       Second quarter – 7-yard run

4.        Second quarter – 41-yard run (tied Illinois’ record for first-half TDs)

5.        Third quarter – 5-yard run

6.        Third quarter – 18-yard run (broke Red Grange’s UI record for single-game TDs)

7.        Third quarter – 5-yard run

8.       Third quarter – 3-yard run (broke the NCAA record for touchdowns by Mississippi’s Boykin and the NCAA record for total points by Syracuse’s Brown)


Illini Birthdays

Sunday: Rod Boykin, football (41)

Monday: Joe Gatton, football (37)

Tuesday: Kirby Wilson, football (52)

Wednesday: Harv Schmidt, basketball (78)

Thursday: Trent Meacham, basketball (28)

Friday: Manuel Strong, football (37)

Saturday: Hollie Schurr, soccer (33)



By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore


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