Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: Memorable Football Victories in Bloomington | Sports

Since 1903, when the Teddy Roosevelt administration ruled the White House, University of Illinois football teams have crossed their state’s eastern border to play in Bloomington, Indiana.

This Friday night marks Illini football’s 30th trip to Southwest Indiana, and their goal will be to break an all-time 14-14-1 tie in games played on the IU campus.

Since 1960, when IU’s Memorial Stadium first opened, Illinois has posted 10 wins in 21 meetings with the Hoosiers. Illinois won a neutral-site game over Indiana in 1984 at the Hoosier Dome.

Highlights of Illinois’ previous wins at Indiana Memorial Stadium: Oct. Jan. 15, 1966: In the first Illinois game at the then six-year-old IU facility, two touchdown receptions by John Wright and two interceptions by defensive back Phil Knell

  • led the Illini over the Hoosiers, 24-10.

November 6, 1971: Coach Bob Blackman

  • Illini’s erased a 21-7 deficit by scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a gutsy, game-winning two-point conversion with four minutes left.

Sept. 15, 1973: Illinois botched Lee Corso’s debut as Indiana coach, beating the Hoosiers 28-14 in the season opener. Illini running backs Eddie Jenkins and Steve Green

  • they scored two touchdowns each.

Nov. 13, 1982: UI’s 48-7 win at Bloomington improved their record to 7-4 and earned Illini an invitation to play in the Liberty Bowl. Tony Eason threw TD passes to Oliver Williams, Mike Martin and Mitchell Brookins

  • on Illinois’ first three possessions, the Oranges and Blues took an early lead.

November 15, 1986: An 11-play, 57-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, led by quarterback Brian Menkhausen

  • , helped Illinois rally to win 21-16 against the favored Hoosiers. Three big plays by Illini defenders in the final minute gave UI their sixth straight win over the Hoosiers.
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Nov. 17, 1990: Illini cornerback Chris Green stripped the ball from Hoosier quarterback Chris Dyer just as Dyer was about to cross into the end zone with a game-tying touchdown, saving Illinois’ 24-10 victory over Indiana. Offensively, Howard Griffith tied Red Grange

  • His career touchdown record. The Illini would go on to tie for the Big Ten title.

Oct. 7, 1995: Strong individual efforts by QB Scott Weaver (two touchdown passes) and linebacker Kevin Hardy

  • (three quarterback sacks) led Illinois to beat host Indiana 17-10.

Oct. 13, 2001: The eventual Big Ten champions Illinois improved their record to 5-1 with a 35-14 win at Indiana. Illini running backs Rocky Harvey, Antoineo Harris and Carey Davis combined for 265 rushing yards, while defenders successfully cornered Hoosier QB superstar Antwaan Randle El.

September 22, 2007 – Rashard Mendenhall

  • he rumbled for a career-high 214 yards and two touchdowns as Illinois outscored Indiana, 27-14. Defensively, the Illini defenders recorded seven quarterback sacks, recovered three IU fumbles and recorded one interception.

Oct. 8, 2011: Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase connected with wide receiver AJ Jenkins for 182 yards and two touchdowns while defensive end Whitney Mercilus

  • he totaled three sacks and forced two fumbles in a 41-20 road win at Indiana. Illinois’ game-winner is their first 6-0 start since 1951.

Ilini’s Birthday:

Sunday: Ryan Schmitt, baseball (25)

Monday: Aleks Kovacevic, tennis (24)

Tuesday: Jim “Chubby” Phillips, football (67)

Wednesday: Tal Brody, basketball (79)

Thursday: Keith Randolph Jr., football (21)

Friday: Isaías Martínez, wrestling (28)

Saturday: Marcus Griffin, basketball (44)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore (third edition is now available in stores). Get more Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends and @Spartifacts2022. His website is

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