Huskies Perfectly Impressive : Washington Statement Is 34-14 Over Michigan : Rose Bowl: Hobert leads team to 12-0 record, as Emtman and defense keep Wolverines in check.


Any equation that could end with Washington winning a national championship had to begin with a thorough whipping of Michigan in the 78th Rose Bowl.

That was accomplished, 34-14, Wednesday, after which Husky Coach Don James found himself in the somewhat unusual role of an alumnus rooting against his alma mater.

James, Miami Class of '54, had to pull for Nebraska to beat the Hurricanes--preferably badly--in the Orange Bowl, the emotions colliding with those generated by Washington's victory.

It was one that took a while in coming. The Huskies (12-0) led only 13-7 at halftime, and were struggling against Michigan's defense while being unable to take advantage of superior field position.

The Wolverines (10-2) struggled, period, when they had the football, quarterback Elvis Grbac being unable to find his Heisman Trophy-winning teammate Desmond Howard most of the game or to complete third-down passes of any kind.

Grbac completed 13 of 26 passes for 130 yards. Howard caught one pass for 35 yards, ran once for 15 yards and had kickoff and punt returns totaling 60 yards.

Washington was led by quarterback Billy Joe Hobert, who completed 18 of 34 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Hobert and defensive lineman Steve Emtman, the Outland trophy winner, shared the most valuable player award Wednesday.

Washington finally broke the game open on its second possession of the second half, Hobert leading a drive that covered 80 yards in 12 plays, the last of which was his pass after a scramble to tight end Mark Bruener, who was near the back of the end zone. The play covered five yards for a 19-7 lead with 5:27 to play in the third quarter.

En route, Hobert hit Aaron Pierce for 21 yards to the Huskies 49 and Mario Bailey for 19 to the three.

The lead was stretched to 21-7 when Hobert passed to Pierce for the two-point conversion.

Washington added to that lead when Hobert hit Pierce on a three-yard touchdown pass with 14:21 to play in the game, and 1:07 later Mark Brunell hit Mario Bailey on a 38-yard pass to make it 34-7.

The rout was on. So was the waiting game.

Michigan's Tyrone Wheatley made the final margin 34-14 by running 53 yards on a sweep with 10:34 to play.

It took nearly a quarter for either offense to get untracked, Washington's becoming the first to do so. The Huskies drove 54 yards in eight plays to a 7-0 lead, Hobert scoring on the first play of the second quarter.

On third and goal from the two, Hobert faked a dive play to tailback Beno Bryant and slid down the line to the left. When a hole opened off tackle, Hobert dived into the end zone, scoring the first rushing touchdown the Michigan defense had given up in its last 23 quarters.

As if waiting for a signal to begin, the Wolverine attack suddenly found itself, the effort being triggered by an a pop-fly kickoff. Jason Crabbe's effort soared high, but only about 20 yards.

With Washington coverage people all around him, Michigan's Yale Van Dyne signaled for a fair catch in front of his own bench. A group of Huskies had eyes only for the football and, missing the signal, drew a penalty for interfering with Van Dyne.

That gave the Wolverines the ball on the Washington 44, from which Grbac passed downfield to Howard. The ball was short, and the Heisman Trophy winner came back to it, wrestling it away from Dana Hall on the Huskies' nine.

Two runs gained and lost three yards, and, on third down, Grbac found freshman Walter Smith in the back of the end zone. Smith, who had gotten lost in Washington coverage concentrated on Howard, scored his first touchdown for Michigan.

James opted for a similar script to the 1991 Rose Bowl, bringing in backup quarterback Brunell for a series in the second quarter. A year ago, the backup had been Hobert.

Brunell, last year's Husky starter and Rose Bowl most valuable player, fared much better in his cameo performance. Beginning play on his 32, Brunell led a 60-yard drive to a Travis Hanson field goal of 24 yards and a 10-7 lead.

En route, Brunell completed his first six passes--actually seven, but one was nullified by a penalty--for 51 yards, chopping away at the Michigan defense. After he hit Matt Jones for two yards, Brunell found Pierce, who stretched the short pass to a 26-yard gain by breaking a tackle and tightroping the sideline to the Michigan 35.

Running with a second-unit backfield for a spell, Brunell handed to Jay Barry for three yards and passed to him for two. Brunell hit Jones for five yards and gave to Barry for a 14-yard touchdown run up the middle that was called back because of a holding penalty.

A pass to Bryant made it third and eight on the Michigan 17, from which Brunell found Orlando McKay for 12 yards to the five.

There, the drive stalled, a Barry run gaining nothing and a quarterback draw by Brunell losing two yards. On third down, Brunell threw the ball away when all of his receivers were covered and he was under duress from Michigan's Brian Townsend and Chris Hutchinson. It was Brunell's only incomplete pass.

Hobert returned on Washington's next possession, starting at the Michigan 46. On second down, he hit Mario Bailey for 17 yards and a first down at the 29.

On third down from the 22, Bryant broke three tackles on a 12-yard run to a first down on the Michigan 10. After a Bryant run to the six, the drive stalled and Hanson again was called upon. He responded with a 23-yard field goal for a 13-7 Washington lead with 3:29 to play in the first half.

The Michigan defense found itself playing in the middle of the field most of the first quarter.

And playing well. The Wolverines held on third and one on their own 41 on the game's first series, Otis Williams intercepted a Hobert pass on the Michigan 10 on the second and the Huskies were held on third and one on their 29 on the third.

Washington's defenders played in better field position, but their efforts were only slightly less effective, forcing punts on Michigan's first two series. Walter Bailey intercepted a pass toward Howard that was tipped by Washington's Shane Pahukoa on the Wolverines' third possession, and the fourth ended up in a punt before the Michigan offense could get untracked.

The victory continued the Pac-10's domination of the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. It was the Pac-10's 19th win in the last 23 games and Washington's 13th in its last 14 games against Big Ten teams.

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