Harold "Red" Grange - Goes Out In Style
Goes Out in Style
Recovered from his injury, Grange was named captain of the Illini for his senior year in 1925. The team got off to a shaky start, losing three of its first four games. Coach Bob Zuppke moved Grange to quarterback and the Illini won their final four games of the season. Grange's most talked-about performance occurred against the unbeaten University of Pennsylvania, regarded by many as "the champions of the East." In fifty-seven minutes of play, Grange scored three touchdowns and set up a fourth, rushed for 363 yards and passed for thirteen, all in ankle-deep mud, as Illinois beat Pennsylvania 24-2. Grange then led Illinois to a 14-9 victory over Ohio State in the last game of the season. He finished his twenty-game career at Illinois with thirty-one touchdowns, sixteen of those from at least twenty yards and nine from more than fifty. He ran 388 times in all, for 2,071 yards, caught fourteen passes for 253 yards and completed forty of eighty-two passes for 575 yards.
The Pennsylvania game, especially, sealed Grange's star status, as many influential East Coast sportswriters took notice of his unparalleled performance. Sports writer Damon Runyon wrote of him, "This man Red Grange of Illinois is three or four men rolled into one for football purposes. He is Jack Dempsey, Babe Ruth, Al Jolson, Paavo Nurmi and Man o' War. Put together, they spell Grange." On October 5, 1925, the three-time All-American (he received the honor again for his senior season) was featured on the cover of Time.
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