1990 Washington Huskies football team

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1990 Washington Huskies football
Pac-10 champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl, W 46–34 vs. Iowa
Conference Pacific-10
Coaches No. 5
AP No. 5
1990 record 10–2 (7–1 Pac-10)
Head coach Don James
Offensive coordinator Gary Pinkel (7th season)
Defensive coordinator Jim Lambright (14th season)
MVP Greg Lewis
Captain Eric Briscoe
Captain Dean Kirkland
Captain Greg Lewis
Captain Travis Richardson
Home stadium Husky Stadium
capacity: 72,500
← 1989
1991 →
1990 Pacific-10 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 5 Washington $ 7 1 0     10 2 0
No. 20 USC 5 2 1     8 4 1
Oregon 4 3 0     8 4 0
California 4 3 1     7 4 1
Arizona 5 4 0     7 5 0
UCLA 4 4 0     5 6 0
Stanford 4 4 0     5 6 0
Arizona State 2 5 0     4 7 0
Washington State 2 6 0     3 8 0
Oregon State 1 6 0     1 10 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1990 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington in the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season.

The Huskies won their first conference championship since 1981 and defeated #17 Iowa in the Rose Bowl by twelve points, 46–34. It was the first victory in that game in nine years as well, when Washington crushed Iowa 28–0 in the 1982 game. The Huskies were led by head coach Don James, offensive coordinator Gary Pinkel, and defensive coordinator Jim Lambright. Pinkel left Washington after the season to become head coach at Toledo, where he stayed for a decade and then moved to Missouri. Lambright succeeded James as head coach of the Huskies in August 1993.

Five Huskies were selected in the 1991 NFL draft, led by running back Greg Lewis and defensive back Charles Mincy. Sophomore defensive lineman Steve Emtman was the first overall pick in 1992.


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 8 12:30 PM San Jose State* No. 20 Husky StadiumSeattle, WA W 20–17   66,337
September 15 11:00 AM at Purdue* No. 22 Ross–Ade StadiumWest Lafayette, IN W 20–14   33,113
September 22 3:30 PM No. 5 USC No. 21 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA Prime W 31–0   72,617
September 29 12:30 PM at No. 20 Colorado* No. 12 Folsom FieldBoulder, CO L 14–20   52,868
October 6 4:00 PM at Arizona State No. 17 Sun Devil StadiumTempe, AZ Prime W 42–14   62,738
October 13 12:30 PM No. 19 Oregon No. 17 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA ABC W 38–17   73,498
October 20 12:30 PM at Stanford No. 13 Stanford StadiumStanford, CA ABC W 52–16   36,500
October 27 12:30 PM California No. 7 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA W 46–7   71,427
November 3 12:30 PM No. 23 Arizona No. 7 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA ABC W 54–10   70,111
November 10 12:30 PM UCLA No. 2 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA ABC L 22–25   71,925
November 17 3:00 PM at Washington State No. 10 Martin StadiumPullman, WA (Apple Cup) Prime W 55–10   37,600
January 1 2:00 PM vs. No. 17 Iowa* No. 8 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC W 46–34   101,273
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Pacific Time.


Season summary[edit]

The Huskies were ranked #20 in the 1990 pre-season,[2] and started slowly with close wins over San José State at home and at Purdue. In the third game, #5 USC, in pursuit of a fourth straight Rose Bowl, entered Husky Stadium as a 5-point favorite with a four-game winning streak over UW,[3] but was shut out 31–0 on a hot afternoon on the Seattle AstroTurf.[4] The game started at 3:30 p.m. in the 92 °F (33 °C) heat and the opportunistic Huskies led 24–0 at the half.[4] Sacked three times and under pressure all day, Trojan QB Todd Marinovich stated, "I just saw purple. That's all I saw. No numbers, no faces, just purple."[5]

The Huskies suffered a letdown the following week, losing to #20 Colorado in Boulder by six.[6] (Colorado would claim half of the 1990 national championship, tainted by the "fifth down" touchdown at Missouri the following week.) The UW Dawgs regrouped and rolled through the next five games, all in conference and by large margins, and climbed to 8–1 record;[7] they clinched the league title and Rose Bowl berth on November 3 after a 54–10 drubbing of #23 Arizona.[8][9][10]

The Huskies moved up five places to a #2 national ranking, behind Notre Dame, when UCLA visited the following week.[10][11] In the wind and under dark but rainless skies on November 10, the 21-point underdog Bruins jumped out to an early lead with an 89-yard run. The game went back and forth, and was tied at 22 until a late field goal by UCLA ended UW's national title hopes.[12][13] The Huskies took their frustration at the loss and their drop in ranking to #10 by crushing Washington State in Pullman to win the Apple Cup 55–10.[14][15] The Cougars scored their touchdown on Husky reserves with less than three minutes remaining to close the margin to 45 points.[14]

The #8 ranked Pac-10 champs then took on the Big Ten champions, #17 Iowa Hawkeyes, in the Rose Bowl, winning 46–34. Entering the fourth quarter with a 39–14 lead,[16] reserves were entered into the game for the Huskies and promptly gave up two touchdowns; UW then scored its own touchdown to push the lead back to 46–26, answered by an Iowa TD and conversion to close the final score to a 12 point gap.[16] The Huskies, like all Pac-10 teams in 1990, played an eight-game conference schedule. They did not play Oregon State, who finished last in the Pac-10 at 1–10 overall (1–7 in conference) and fired sixth-year head coach Dave Kragthorpe.[17][18]


Team players in the NFL[edit]

The following UW Huskies were selected in the 1991 NFL Draft:

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Greg Lewis RB 5 115 Denver Broncos
Charles Mincy DB 5 133 Kansas City Chiefs
Dean Kirkland G 11 305 Buffalo Bills
Jeff Pahukoa T 12 311 Los Angeles Rams
John Cook MG 12 328 Chicago Bears


Both 1990 Washington quarterbacks were selected in the 1993 NFL Draft. Sophomore starter Mark Brunell was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round with the 118th pick. Brunell was a reserve for two seasons behind Brett Favre in Green Bay, then led the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995.[20] Redshirt freshman Billy Joe Hobert was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round with the 58th pick.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2003 UW Huskies football media guide, p. 290
  2. ^ "Preseason AP Top 25". Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. August 27, 1990. p. C4. 
  3. ^ "Huskies, USC face off in key Pac-10 game". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 22, 1990. p. B1. 
  4. ^ a b "UW enjoys California Dreamin' by blanking USC". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. September 23, 1990. p. 5C. 
  5. ^ Bergum, Steve; Blanchette, John (September 25, 1990). "Husky fans stop barking at QB". Spokane Chronicle. Washington. p. C3. 
  6. ^ "Colorado cuts 12th-ranked Huskies off at pass, 20-14". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 30, 1990. p. C1. 
  7. ^ "Pac-10 standings". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. November 4, 1990. p. 1F. 
  8. ^ "Huskies earn roses, eye top rank". Spokesman=Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. November 4, 1990. p. C1. 
  9. ^ "Now it's on to Pasadena for Huskies". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. November 4, 1990. p. 1F. 
  10. ^ a b Boling, Dave (November 6, 1990). "Huskies once had thorns, not roses". Spokesman=Review. Spokane, Washington. p. C2. 
  11. ^ "College polls: AP Top 25". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. November 6, 1990. p. C4. 
  12. ^ Burlison, Frank (November 11, 1990). "UCLA puts bite on UW title dreams". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. C1. 
  13. ^ "Husky title hopes crushed by Bruins". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. wire services. November 11, 1990. p. 1E. 
  14. ^ a b Bergum, Steve (November 18, 1990). "Huskies regain their bite". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. C1. 
  15. ^ Grummert, Dale (November 18, 1990). "Huskies bomb Cougars out of their misery, 55-10". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Washington. p. 1B. 
  16. ^ a b Blanchette, John (January 2, 1991). "UW, Brunell in full bloom". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. D1. 
  17. ^ Cawood, Neil (November 22, 1990). "Kragthorpe era ends suddenly". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1C. 
  18. ^ "Kragthorpe out as Oregon State head coach". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. November 22, 1990. p. 1B. 
  19. ^ "1991 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  20. ^ "Mark Brunell NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  21. ^ "Billy Joe Hobert NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06.