American Football Database
1990 Washington Huskies football
File:Washington Huskies logo.svg
Pac-10 champion
Rose Bowl champion
Rose Bowl, W 46–34 vs. Iowa
CoachesNo. 5
APNo. 5
1990 record10–2 (7–1 Pac-10)
Head coachDon James (16th season)
Offensive coordinatorGary Pinkel (7th season)
Defensive coordinatorJim Lambright (14th season)
MVPGreg Lewis (RB)
CaptainEric Briscoe (DB)
CaptainDean Kirkland (G)
CaptainGreg Lewis (RB)
CaptainTravis Richardson (DE)
Home stadiumHusky Stadium
capacity: 72,500
← 1989
1991 →
1990 Pacific-10 football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#5 Washington 7 1 0     10 2 0
#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.


September 812:30 PMSan Jose State*No. 20W 20–1766,337
September 1511:00 AMat Purdue*No. 22W 20–1433,113
September 223:30 PMNo. 5 USCNo. 21
  • Husky Stadium
  • Seattle, WA
PrimeW 31–072,617
September 2912:30 PMat No. 20 Colorado*No. 12L 14–2052,868
October 64:00 PMat Arizona StateNo. 17PrimeW 42–1462,738
October 1312:30 PMNo. 19 OregonNo. 17
  • Husky Stadium
  • Seattle, WA
ABCW 38–1773,498
October 2012:30 PMat StanfordNo. 13ABCW 52–1636,500
October 2712:30 PMCaliforniaNo. 7
  • Husky Stadium
  • Seattle, WA
W 46–771,427
November 312:30 PMNo. 23 ArizonaNo. 7
  • Husky Stadium
  • Seattle, WA
ABCW 54–1070,111
November 1012:30 PMUCLANo. 2
  • Husky Stadium
  • Seattle, WA
ABCL 22–2571,925
November 173:00 PMat Washington StateNo. 10PrimeW 55–1037,600
January 1, 19912:00 PMvs. No. 17 Iowa*No. 8ABCW 46–34101,273  

Season summary

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]


#22 Washington at Purdue
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Huskies 7 3 3 7 20
Boilermakers 14 0 0 0 14



NFL Draft

Five Huskies were selected in the 1991 NFL Draft, which lasted twelve rounds (334 selections).

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

Both 1990 Washington quarterbacks were selected in the 1993 NFL Draft. Sophomore starter Mark Brunell was taken 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.[21] Redshirt freshman Billy Joe Hobert was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round with the 58th pick.[22]

See also


  1. 2003 UW Huskies football media guide, p. 290
  2. "Preseason AP Top 25". Spokane, Washington. Associated Press: p. C4. August 27, 1990.
  3. "Huskies, USC face off in key Pac-10 game". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press (Spokane, Washington): p. B1. September 22, 1990.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "UW enjoys California Dreamin' by blanking USC". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press (Idaho): p. 5C. September 23, 1990.
  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. Associated Press (Spokane, Washington): p. C1. September 30, 1990.
  7. "Pac-10 standings". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press (Oregon): p. 1F. November 4, 1990.
  8. "Huskies earn roses, eye top rank". Spokesman=Review. Associated Press (Spokane, Washington): p. C1. November 4, 1990.
  9. "Now it's on to Pasadena for Huskies". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press (Oregon): p. 1F. November 4, 1990.
  10. 10.0 10.1 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. Associated Press (Spokane, Washington): p. C4. November 6, 1990.
  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. wire services (Oregon): p. 1E. November 11, 1990.
  14. 14.0 14.1 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. 16.0 16.1 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. Associated Press (Idaho): p. 1B. November 22, 1990.
  19. Gainesville Sun. 1990 Sep 16. Retrieved 2018-Oct-06.
  20. "1991 NFL Draft Listing". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  21. "Mark Brunell NFL Football Statistics". Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  22. "Billy Joe Hobert NFL Football Statistics". Retrieved 2016-09-06.

External links

  • YouTube – UW video – "All I Saw Was Purple" (vs. USC on September 22)