1951 Illinois Fighting Illini football
Co-national champion (Boand)
Big Ten champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl, W 40–7 vs. Stanford
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
CoachesNo. 3
APNo. 4
1951 record9–0–1 (5–0–1 Big Ten)
Head coachRay Eliot (10th season)
MVPChuck Boerio
CaptainChuck Studley
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
← 1950
1952 →
1951 Big Ten football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#4/3 Illinois 5 0 1     9 0 1
#NR/14 Purdue 4 1 0     5 4 0
#8/8 Wisconsin 5 1 1     7 1 1
Michigan 4 2 0     4 5 0
Ohio State 2 2 2     4 3 2
Northwestern 2 4 0     5 4 0
Minnesota 1 4 1     2 6 1
Indiana 1 5 0     2 7 0
Iowa 0 5 1     2 5 2
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches' Poll

The 1951 Illinois Fighting Illini football team was an American football team that represented the University of Illinois during the 1951 Big Ten Conference football season. In their 10th year under head coach Ray Eliot, the Illini compiled a 9–0–1 record, finished in first place in the Big Ten Conference, was ranked #4 in the final AP Poll, and defeated Stanford 40–7 in the 1952 Rose Bowl. The lone setback was a scoreless tie with Ohio State.[1] Illinois defeated Stanford 40 to 7 in the 1952 Rose Bowl, the first nationally televised college football game.Template:CN The team was named co-national champion by Boand, which split its selection with Georgia Tech.[2]

Al Brosky had an NCAA career record 29 interceptions, including an NCAA record 15-game streak covering the entire 1951 season.[3] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

Halfback Johnny Karras was a consensus first-team pick on the 1951 College Football All-America Team.[4] Linebacker Chuck Boerio was selected as the team's most valuable player.[5]


September 29UCLA*No. 10W 27–1353,265
October 6WisconsinNo. 8W 14–1056,207
October 13Syracuse*No. 7W 41–2030,000
October 20No. 20 Washington*No. 8W 27–2054,000
October 27IndianaNo. 4W 21–033,000
November 3No. 15 MichiganNo. 3
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
W 7–071,119
November 10at IowadaggerNo. 2
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Champaign, IL
W 40–1356,444
November 17Ohio StateNo. 3T 0–079,457
November 24NorthwesternNo. 6W 3–052,000
January 1No. 7 Stanford*No. 4W 40–796,825
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to the game


  • Chuck Boerio - center (1st-team All-America pick by NEA; 1st-team All-Big Ten pick by AP)
  • Al Brosky - halfback (1st-team All-America pick by AP and Football Writers)
  • Johnny Karras - halfback (consensus 1st-team All-American; 1st-team All-Big Ten pick by AP and UP)
  • Rex Smith - end (1st-team All-Big Ten pick by AP)
  • Chuck Studley - tackle (1st-team All-Big Ten pick by AP and UP)
  • Chuck Ulrich - tackle (1st-team All-America pick by INS; 1st-team All-Big Ten pick by AP and UP)
  • Bill Tate Rose Bowl MVP


Player Position
Jim Catlin
Cliff Waldbeser
John Ryan End
Bob Lenzini Guard
Don Stevens Fullback
Bill Tate Fullback
Steve Nosek Quarterback
John Bauer Guard, Tackle
Jim Baughman Guard
Marshall Dusenbury
Tom Murphy
Sam Rebecca Tackle, Placekicker
Al Brosky End, Defensive Back
Don Engels Quarterback
Paul Luhrsen
Lawrence Stevens
Bob Weddell Tackle
Dan Peterson
Bob Rylowicz
Chuck Ulrich Defensive Tackle
Frank Wodziak End
Johnny Karras Halfback
Rex Smith End
Don Ernst
Richard Jenkins
Don Gnidovie
Joe Cole
Joe Vernasco End
Marvin Berschet Defensive End, Guard
Chuck Boerio Linebacker
Pete Bachouros Back
Rudy Valentino
Herb Neathery Back
Elie Popa
Tom O'Connell Quarterback
Clarence DeMoss Halfback
Herb Borman
Dan Sabino
Chuck Studley (Captain) Guard
Ken Miller
Stan Wallace Defensive Back
Don Tate
Claude Taliaferro Back
  • Head Coach: Ray Eliot (10th year at Illinois)


Template:Big Ten Conference football champions

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