A quick ride on the way-back machine:
A hat-tip to blog regular Dawg Paw for linking to this Sports Illustrated cover featuring Washington quarterback Sonny Sixkiller on Oct. 4, 1971, two days after the No. 15 Huskies beat Illinois 52-14 in Champaign.
I enjoyed the cover story on Sixkiller. Here’s an excerpt:
Another powerful inducement for fans and scribes to go wild over Sixkiller is his style of play. He is a fine-looking natural athlete who whistles the ball and moves fluidly. He is not fast or much of a runner (minus 35 yards on the ground last year), but he scrambles and does wild things. His passes tend to be either 15-yard lasers into someone’s stomach or lofted 25-yarders that just clear two defenders’ hands to hit a receiver in full stride down the sidelines. After he matched, or perhaps outdid, the passing of Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett in Washington’s 29-22 loss to Stanford last year, Stanford coach John Ralston said, “We’ve faced some fine quarterbacks this season but none of them presented as many defensive problems as Sixkiller. After studying the films of him in action, our coaching staff agreed they have never seen a passer as loose as this kid. He free-lances all over the field and you never know what he’s going to do next. And talk about your gunners, I can’t recall anyone who unloads the ball as fast and as often as Sixkiller. Oregon State intercepted six of his passes but that didn’t discourage him. He just kept on pitching until he beat them.” He very nearly beat Stanford as well, throwing for one touchdown at the end of a 77-yard drive and later running nine yards for another and passing for a two-point conversion on two straight busted plays to put Washington temporarily ahead, 22-21. All that on national television and with the flu, which kept him out of the early part of the game.
Catching up on some current links:
— My notebook today leads with an update on the three touted freshmen receivers, Darrell Daniels, John Ross and Damore’ea Stringfellow, who figure to see more playing time (all over the field) as the season goes on.
— This “Chicago Homecoming” carries added significance for the Illini, looking for their first victory over a ranked opponent since defeating Arizona State in 2011.
— Here are five questions and five answers I reciprocated for the Herald & Review.
— Illinois’ surprising victory over Cincinnati has some pondering bowl possibilities for the Illini.
— Our friendly ESPN Pac-12 bloggers have both picked the Huskies in the matchup in Chicago.
— Nice column from Chris Dufresne of the L.A. Times on Jim Mora and the intangibles of great coaches.
— SI’s Andy Staples has UW ranked No. 18 in his power rankings this week.
— A strong take from Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel on the latest scandal in college football.