1946 Illinois Fighting Illini football
1946 Illinois Fighting Illini football team.jpg
Big Nine champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl, W 45–14 vs. UCLA
ConferenceBig Nine Conference
Ranking
APNo. 5
Record8–2 (6–1 Big Nine)
Head coach
MVPAlex Agase
CaptainMac Wenskunas
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium (Capacity: 71,119)
Seasons
← 1945
1947 →
1946 Big Nine Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 5 Illinois $ 6 1 0 8 2 0
No. 6 Michigan 5 1 1 6 2 1
No. 20 Indiana 4 2 0 6 3 0
Iowa 3 3 0 5 4 0
Minnesota 3 4 0 5 4 0
Ohio State 2 3 1 4 3 2
Northwestern 2 3 1 4 4 1
Wisconsin 2 5 0 4 5 0
Purdue 0 5 1 2 6 1
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1946 Illinois Fighting Illini football team was an American football team that represented the University of Illinois in the 1946 Big Nine Conference football season. Led by fifth-year head coach Ray Eliot, the Illini compiled an 8–2 record (6–1 against Big Nine opponents) and won the Big Nine championship. They finished the season ranked No. 5 in the final AP Poll and were invited to play in the 1947 Rose Bowl where they defeated No. 4 UCLA, 45–14.[1][2] Center Mac Wenskunas was the team captain.[2]

Guard Alex Agase was a consensus first-team selection on the 1946 All-America college football team.[3] Agase also received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Nine's most valuable player.[4] Four Illinois players received honors from the Associated Press (AP) or United Press (UP) on the 1946 All-Big Nine Conference football team: Agase (AP-1, UP-1); ends Ike Owens (UP-1) and Sam Zatkoff (UP-2); and halfback Jules Rykovich (UP-2).[5][6]

The team played its home games at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois.

Schedule

DateOpponentRankSiteResultAttendanceSource
September 21at Pittsburgh*W 33–735,000[7]
September 28Notre Dame*L 6–2675,119[8]
October 5Purdue
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
W 43–738,519[9]
October 12at IndianaNo. 12L 7–1427,000[10]
October 19No. 20 Wisconsin
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
W 27–2162,597[11]
October 26at No. 8 MichiganW 13–986,938[12][13]
November 2at IowaNo. 11W 7–052,000[14]
November 16No. 13 Ohio StateNo. 9
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
W 16–761,519[15]
November 23at NorthwesternNo. 5W 20–047,000[16]
January 1vs. No. 4 UCLA*No. 5W 45–1493,083[17]
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

Roster

Player Position
Alex Agase Offensive guard
Perry Moss Quarterback
Ruck Steger
Les Bingaman Guard, Tackle
Sam Zatkoff End
Joe Buscemi
Bob Cunz Tackle
Don Maechtle Placekicker
Don Pittman
Chuck Gottfried
Al Martignago
Lyle Button Tackle
Lou Levanti Center
Bob Prymuski Guard
Tom Gallagher
Al Mastrangeli Center
Merle Schlosser End
Bernie Krueger Quarterback
Dike Eddleman Punter
Bill Franks
Chick Maggioli Defensive back, Halfback
Paul Patterson Quarterback
Ike Owens End, Defensive end
Art Dufelmeier (Captain) Halfback
Tom Stewart
Bob Hinkle
Lou Agase Tight end, Tackle
Jim Valck
Jack Pierce
Burt Schmidt
Denny Bassett
Walt Kersulis End
John Wrenn Guard
Herb Siegert Guard, Linebacker
Bill Heiss End

Awards and honors

References

  1. ^ "1946 Illinois Fighting Illini Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Fighting Illini Football Record Book" (PDF). University of Illinois. 2015. p. 155. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  3. ^ "Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2016. p. 8. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  4. ^ "Alex Agase Is Most Valuable". Journal and Courier. December 16, 1946. p. 12 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Indiana Places Three on Big Ten All-Stars". The Milwaukee Journal (AP story). November 26, 1946. p. 6. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  6. ^ "Michigan Gets Three Places On UP Team". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (UP story). November 30, 1946. p. 13.
  7. ^ Jack Henry (September 22, 1946). "Pitt Overpowered Illinois, 33-7: Victors Held To 7-7 Score In First Half; Gave 'Em a Scare!". Pittsburgh Sunday Sun-Telegraph. p. II-7 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Bert Bertine (September 29, 1946). "Notre Dame Halts Young, Overpowers Illinois, 26-6: Record 75,119 Watches Irish Dominate Battle". Decatur Sunday Herald and Review. pp. 29, 30 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ Bert Bertine (October 6, 1946). "Illini Rout Purdue, 43-7: Illinois Backs Run Freely in Big Nine Debut". Decatur Sunday Herald and Review. p. II-1. Retrieved April 29, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ Jack K. Overmyer (October 13, 1946). "Indiana Triumphs: 4th-Quarter Tally By Pihos Decides Game; Capacity Throng Of 27,000 Sees Illini Bow, 14-7". The Indianapolis Star. pp. 41, 43 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ Irving Vaughan (October 20, 1946). "Illini Beat Wisconsin, 27-21: 2 Touchdowns in 4th Period Whip Badgers; Wham! 21 Points in First 4 Minutes". Chicago Tribune. pp. II-1, II-2 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ Edward Burns (October 27, 1946). "Zatkoff Races 53 Yards As Illinois Beats Michigan, 13-9". Chicago Tribune. p. 2-1.
  13. ^ Lyall Smith (October 27, 1946). "Illini Upset Wolverines on Zatkoff's Long Run, 13-9: Sam Travels 47 Yards on Interception; 12 Fumbles Costly to Michigan Drives". Detroit Free Press. pp. IV-2, IV-3 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ Bert McGrane (November 3, 1946). "Illini Sink Iowa, 7-0, Lead Big 9: 5 Hawk Bids Fail; Steger's Stab on Illinois' Big Push Drops Iowans From Race". The Des Moines Sunday Register. pp. V-1, V-2 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ Edward Burns (November 17, 1946). "Illinois Defeats Ohio, 16-7; Keeps Lead; Rykovich Goes 98 Yards Over Muddy Field; It's Fifth Victory in Big Nine". Chicago Tribune. pp. II-1, II-7 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Charles Bartlett (November 24, 1946). "Illinois Beats N.U., 20-0; Takes Big 9 Title; Sixth League Victory Opens Door To Bowl". Chicago Tribune. pp. II-1, II-6 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ Paul Zimmerman (January 2, 1947). "Illinois Wallops Bruins by 45-14: Young, Rykovich Run Wild Behind Fast Illini Line as 93,083 Fans Gasp". Los Angeles Times. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.