Outspoken Washington quarterback Billy Joe Hobert is talking again. He is trying not to say anything outlandish, however.
Hobert ended a self-imposed, two-week silence Saturday after leading the third-ranked Huskies to a 44-16 victory over Arizona State.
"I'm not the perfect quarterback," Hobert said. "I've never claimed to be. But I think I got the job done today."
Hobert displeased Coach Don James after Washington's victory at California two weeks earlier when he said the Huskies should skip the Rose Bowl and find a place to play either Florida State or Miami for the national championship.
He didn't talk about a national title after passing for two touchdowns and running for a third against the Sun Devils. Instead, he talked about Washington's game at USC next Saturday. Although USC is 3-5 after a loss to Cal Saturday, Hobert noted Washington hasn't won in Los Angeles since 1980.
"This will be the biggest game of the year for us," Hobert said.
Washington is 8-0, including 5-0 in the Pacific 10 Conference. It is the best start for the Huskies since 1984, when they won their first nine games and went 11-1 to finish second to Brigham Young for the national championship.
Cornerback Dana Hall said the Huskies want to take an 11-0 record to the Rose Bowl. Washington won the Pac-10 title despite a late-season loss to UCLA last season.
"Last year we lost a game and still got to the Rose Bowl," Hall said. "We don't want anything bittersweet this year."
Arizona State beat Washington in Seattle two years ago.
"We had a lot of respect for Arizona State," James said. "We knew they could give us a lot of headaches if we weren't ready to play."
Said Sun Devil Coach Larry Marmie: "It was obvious today Washington is a great football team. Certainly, you can make a case for them to be number one. But you have to be the best every Saturday."