Happy 21st Birthday, Nnanna Egwu (almost)!
Lists & Lore
October’s Field Goal Heroes
Field goals played a huge role in Illinois football’s successes on this date in history. Ninety years ago today, Earl Britton kicked the Illini’s first 50-yard field goal as Illinois beat Iowa 9-6. Exactly 40 years ago, Dan Beaver kicked two field goals in UI’s 6-3 victory at Michigan State. And 23 years ago today, placekicker Doug Higgins tied an Illini single-game record with five successful placements. Once again, the Spartans were the victim, falling 15-13. Other memorable Illinois October football games in which field goals played a role:
Oct. 4, 1924: Earl Britton’s 27-yard fourth-quarter field goal helped Illinois beat Nebraska 9-6.
Oct. 30, 1926: Frosty Peters’ 15-yard field goal in the final minute gave Illinois a 3-0 victory against Penn.
Oct. 31, 1936: Dave Strong’s successful placement from the 14-yard line was the difference as Illinois beat Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Oct. 7, 1972: Lonnie Perrin booted a record 52-yarder against Penn State.
Oct. 13, 1973: Dan Beaver’s record-setting five field goals beat Purdue 15-13.
Oct. 15, 1977: Dave Finzer’s 53-yard field goal at Purdue tied the Ross-Ade Stadium record and gave Coach Gary Moeller his first Big Ten win.
Oct. 27, 1979: Kirk Bostrom kicked a 31-yard field goal with 1:37 left to help Illinois salvage a 17-17 tie at Minnesota.
Oct. 23, 1982: Mike Bass kicked a 46-yarder in the final seconds beat Wisconsin 29-28.
Oct. 5, 1985: Chris White’s 38-yard field goal with four seconds left gave UI a 31-28 win against Ohio State.
Oct. 12, 1991: Chris Richardson hit a career-best 41-yarder with 37 seconds left to beat Ohio State 10-7.
Today: Kevin Pancratz, football/wrestling (58)
Monday: Mike Davis, basketball (25)
Tuesday: Nnanna Egwu, basketball (21)
Wednesday: Zak Pedersen, football (24)
Thursday: Dean March, football (61)
Friday: Cam Pepper, football (45)
Saturday: Spencer Harris, football (22)
By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore.
Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @B1GLLL and on Facebook at Big Ten Legends, Lists & Lore.