1991 Washington Huskies football team
|1991 Washington Huskies football|
Coaches Poll National Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
|1991 record||12–0 (8–0 Pac-10)|
|Head coach||Don James (17th year)|
|Offensive coordinator||Keith Gilbertson (1st year)|
|Defensive coordinator||Jim Lambright (15th year)|
|Home stadium||Husky Stadium
|1991 Pacific-10 football standings|
|#2 Washington $||8||–||0||12||–||0|
The 1991 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington in the 1991 NCAA Division I-A football season. Head coach Don James, in this 17th season at Washington, was assisted by coordinators Keith Gilbertson (offense) and Jim Lambright (defense), both head coaches themselves within two years.
The 1991 team was arguably the finest team in school history and split the national championship with the Miami Hurricanes, who were also 12–0, and won the AP Poll by four votes, while Washington took the coaches' poll by nine. Washington could not have played Miami in a bowl game because the Pac-10 champion was bound by contract to play in the Rose Bowl against the Big Ten champion. The Huskies soundly defeated no. 4 Michigan 34–14 in the 1992 Rose Bowl; the final score differential was narrowed by a late touchdown by Tyrone Wheatley of Michigan. With a minute remaining in the game, Washington was on the Michigan five-yard line, but opted to stay on the ground and run out the clock with the third-string quarterback leading the offense.
With the number one pick of the 1992 NFL Draft on the defensive line, junior Steve Emtman, the 1991 Huskies were led by their defense, and are among the most dominant teams in college football history.
Eleven Huskies were selected in the 1992 NFL Draft, led by Emtman, a dominating yet under-recruited defensive tackle from Cheney. Emtman won both the Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy, and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, won by Desmond Howard of Michigan. Defensive back Dana Hall was also selected in the first round.
The Huskies were ranked fourth in the 1991 pre-season. They dominated their six home games within the friendly raucous confines of Husky Stadium, which included two lopsided shutouts. The Dawgs' three closest games in 1991 were on the road: against Nebraska, California, and USC.
Behind 14–6 at halftime in Lincoln on ABC to no. 9 Nebraska in the second game of the season, UW rallied to outscore NU in Lincoln 30–7 in the second half to win by 15, and were graciously applauded at game-end by the Cornhusker fans. In mid-October, the no. 7 Cal Bears were the next-best team in the Pac-10 in 1991; the Huskies won by a touchdown in Berkeley to go to 6–0. In November in Los Angeles, the Huskies entered the game against USC undefeated at 8–0 and won a 14–3 defensive struggle, a second-straight victory over the previously-dominant Trojans.
Many of the points scored against the 1991 Huskies in their other games, including the last touchdown in the Rose Bowl, came in the fourth quarter against the reserves, as head coach Don James was concerned more about meaningful game-time experience for underclassman, rather than victory margins and/or shutouts.
Like the rest of the Pac-10 in 1991, the Huskies played just eight Pac-10 conference games, missing one opponent; they did not play UCLA in 1991 or 1992. The 1991 Bruins finished at 9–3 (6–2 in conference), in the top twenty in both polls (no. 18 and no. 19). UCLA lost to Tennessee of the SEC and both Bay Area teams, Cal and Stanford, but won their bowl game.
|September 7||at Stanford||No. 4||Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CA||W 42–7||45,273|
|September 21||at No. 9 Nebraska*||No. 4||Memorial Stadium • Lincoln, NE||W 36–21||76,304|
|September 28||Kansas State*||No. 4||Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA||W 56–3||71,638|
|October 5||Arizona||No. 3||Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA||W 54–0||72,495|
|October 12||Toledo*||No. 3||Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA||W 48–0||72,266|
|October 19||at No. 7 California||No. 3||Memorial Stadium • Berkeley, CA||W 24–17||74,500|
|October 26||Oregon||No. 3||Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA||W 29–7||72,318|
|November 2||Arizona State||No. 3||Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA||W 44–16||72,405|
|November 9||at USC||No. 2||Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA||W 14–3||59,320|
|November 16||at Oregon State||No. 3||Reser Stadium • Corvallis, OR||W 58–6||31,588|
|November 23||Washington State||No. 2||Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA (Apple Cup)||W 56–21||72,581|
|January 1||vs. No. 4 Michigan*||No. 2||Rose Bowl • Los Angeles, CA (Rose Bowl)||W 34–14||103,566|
|*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.|
Team players in the NFL
The following Washington players were selected in the 1992 NFL Draft:
|Steve Emtman||DT||1||1||Indianapolis Colts|
|Dana Hall||DB||1||18||San Francisco 49ers|
|Ed Cunningham||C||3||61||Arizona Cardinals|
|Siupeli Malamala||T||3||68||New York Jets|
|Aaron Pierce||TE||3||69||New York Giants|
|Orlando McKay||WR||5||130||Green Bay Packers|
|Mario Bailey||WR||6||162||Houston Oilers|
|Donald Jones||LB||9||245||New Orleans Saints|
|Kris Rongen||G||11||290||Seattle Seahawks|
|Brett Collins||LB||12||314||Green Bay Packers|
|Chico Fraley||LB||12||319||Seattle Seahawks|
- Both 1991 UW quarterbacks were selected in the following year's 1993 NFL Draft: '91 soph. starter Billy Joe Hobert by the Oakland Raiders (3rd rd., 58th) and junior Mark Brunell ('90 soph. starter, injured in spring '91 practice, '92 senior starter) by the Green Bay Packers (5th rd., 118th); where he was a reserve for two seasons behind Brett Favre, then led the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995.
Awards and honors
- "Stat sheet: football, final polls". Spokane Chronicle. January 2, 1992. p. E4.
- "Huskies crush Michigan 34-14". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. January 2, 1992. p. 1B.
- Murphy, Austin (January 13, 1992). "The Dream Game". Sports Illustrated. p. 34.
- 2003 UW Huskies football media guide, p. 209