1991 Washington Huskies football team

1991 Washington Huskies football
Coaches Poll national champion
Pac-10 champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl, W 34–14 vs. Michigan
Conference Pacific-10
Coaches No. 1
AP No. 2
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)
MVP Mario Bailey (O)
MVP Steve Emtman (D)
Captain Mario Bailey
Captain Brett Collins
Captain Ed Cunningham
Captain Donald Jones
Home stadium Husky Stadium
capacity: 72,500
1991 Pacific-10 football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#2 Washington $   8 0         12 0  
#8 California   6 2         10 2  
#19 UCLA   6 2         9 3  
#22 Stanford   6 2         8 4  
Arizona State   4 4         6 5  
Washington State   3 5         4 7  
Arizona   3 5         4 7  
USC   2 6         3 8  
Oregon   1 7         3 8  
Oregon State   1 7         1 10  
  • $ Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

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.[1] 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.[2]

Eleven Huskies were selected in the 1992 NFL Draft, led by Steve 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.

A fantasy article in Sports Illustrated titled "The Dream Game" had the Huskies narrowly defeat Miami in a playoff.[3]


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.


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 7 12:30 pm at Stanford No. 4 Stanford StadiumStanford, CA ABC W 42–7   45,273
September 21 5:00 pm at No. 9 Nebraska* No. 4 Memorial StadiumLincoln, NE ABC W 36–21   76,304
September 28 12:30 pm Kansas State* No. 4 Husky StadiumSeattle, WA W 56–3   71,638
October 5 3:30 pm Arizona No. 3 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA Prime W 54–0   72,495
October 12 12:30 pm Toledo* No. 3 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA W 48–0   72,266
October 19 12:30 pm at No. 7 California No. 3 California Memorial StadiumBerkeley, CA ABC W 24–17   74,500
October 26 12:30 pm Oregon No. 3 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA W 29–7   72,318
November 2 12:30 pm Arizona State No. 3 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA W 44–16   72,405
November 9 12:30 pm at USC No. 2 Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles, CA ABC W 14–3   59,320
November 16 1:00 pm at Oregon State No. 3 Parker StadiumCorvallis, OR W 58–6   31,588
November 23 12:30 pm Washington State No. 2 Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA (Apple Cup) ABC W 56–21   72,581
January 1 1:45 pm vs. No. 4 Michigan* No. 2 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC W 34–14   103,566
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Pacific Time.


NFL Draft selections

The following Washington players were selected in the 1992 NFL Draft:

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
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 G11290 Seattle Seahawks
Brett CollinsLB12314Green Bay Packers
Chico Fraley LB12319Seattle Seahawks


Awards and honors


  1. "Stat sheet: football, final polls". Spokane Chronicle. January 2, 1992. p. E4.
  2. "Huskies crush Michigan 34-14". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. January 2, 1992. p. 1B.
  3. Murphy, Austin (January 13, 1992). "The Dream Game". Sports Illustrated. p. 34.
  4. 2003 UW Huskies football media guide, p. 209
  5. "1992 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  6. "Billy Joe Hobert NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  7. "Mark Brunell NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  8. Hyland, Tim. "AP College Football National Champions". Football.about.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
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