Big Ten Countdown: 86 - Illinois and Nebraska

Yesterday was academic all-american day.


Nebraska and Illinois have played each other 10 times.  The last time was in 19(86).  After what happened in Champaign that day, it's no wonder we haven't seen them on the schedule since. One might have thought that maybe a fight had broken out that would have canceled the series for fifteen years (see Iowa-Illinois), but no.  It was just another Iowa State beat down.

The first play of the game set the tone for the entire night in Nebraska's 59-14 romp over Illinois. Illini quarterback Chris Lamb took the game's first snap, dropped back to pass, but his aerial landed in the hands of Husker cornerback Brian Davis, who raced untouched 32 yards into the end zone. That gave Nebraska a 7-0 lead in the first 12 seconds.

The Huskers built the lead to 28-0 at the end of the first quarter, and they were never seriously threatened.

All-in-all, Nebraska is 7-2-1 against Illinois.  They even got to play against the Illinois team led by Red Grange in 1925.  And the huskers beat em.

 

The Associated Press reported: "Grange, unable to pierce the magnificent Nebraska defense and thwarted in his efforts to circle the ends, was taken out of the game a few seconds after the start of the fourth period broken and crushed. As the noted player, covered with mud from head to foot, walked to the sidelines, tears gathered in his eyes and he fell into the waiting arms of his comrades."

 

That was an accomplishment since some have tagged him as the greatest college football player ever.


 

Illinois is not in our division for football and we will not see them until at least 2013/2014.  The hate does not flow between the two fan bases.  At least not yet.  They love their basketball in Illinois and we will be expected to provide the "Fighting Illini" with at least one basketball win a year.

Don't wave Nebraska's five national titles in front of an Illinois fan or they will wave five right back at you.  Though, they haven't seen one in 60 years (1914, 1919, 1923, 1927, and 1951).  Their stadium is also known as Memorial Stadium with a capacity of around 62k seats.  They have 15 Big Ten conference football championships and have a few well-known football alumni including Dick Butkus, Jim Grabowski,  Jeff George, Jack Trudeau, and Simeon Rice.

Their coach is Ron Zook who is the 2007 National Coach of the year.  He is, however, on the hot seat due to inconsistency of the team.  Illinois currently plays for three cool traveling trophies: Illibuck, the Purdue Cannon, and the Land of Lincoln Trophy.  They use to play Northwestern for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk, but it was deemed politically incorrect and so it was retired.

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