Happy 72nd, Dave Downey!

Happy 72nd, Dave Downey!


On this date in Illini history

On Oct, 27,1984, the Illini men’s cross-country team won its only Big Ten championship of the last 65 years. Coach Gary Wieneke’s team broke a three-year winning streak by the Wisconsin Badgers, edging Michigan by four points, 58-62, on the course at Purdue. The Illini were led by Ty Wolf’s third-place finish. It was the only year that the course was 10,000 meters instead of 8,000. Other memorable Illini moments on Oct. 27:



1923: In limited action, Red Grange ran for 251 yards and three touchdowns as Illinois defeated Northwestern 29-0.


1934: In its first victory at Ann Arbor in 14 years, Illinois defeated Michigan and its captain and future president, Gerald Ford.


1951: Johnny Karras scored three TDs, including a Big Ten-record 88-yard run, as Illinois topped Indiana 21-0.


1956: The Illini claimed a 20-13 win against top-ranked Michigan State, buoyed by Abe Woodson’s three scores.


1973: Bob Blackman’s Illini improved their Big Ten record to 4-0 with a 50-0 shutout against Iowa.


1990: Illinois’ Len Sitko placed second at the Big Ten Cross-Country Championships in Minneapolis.


Illini Birthdays

Sunday: Marcus Liberty, basketball (45)

Monday: Dave Downey, basketball (72)

Tuesday: Mark Claypool, track & field (55)

Wednesday: Rick Schmidt, basketball (60)

Thursday: Tauja Catchings, basketball (36)

Friday: Charlie Rallo, wrestling (35)

Saturday: Adam Lingner, football (53)


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



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