Score by Quarters
The 1992 Rose Bowl Game was one of the most anticipated on that year’s bowl schedule. The script had No. 2 Washington facing No. 4 Michigan and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, and the possibility of a national champion emerging from Pasadena.
Ultimately, when the final horn sounded, it was all No. 2 over No. 4; the Heisman Trophy winner was kept nearly silent, and indeed, a national championship team – the school’s first – emerged from the Rose Bowl. Washington won, 34-14.
It was a triumph on both sides of the ball for Washington. The two quarterbacks who had teamed up to win the 1991 Rose Bowl Game did it again. Billy Joe Hobert and Mark Brunell – the latter winning Player of the Game honors the year before and the former sharing it this year – combined for 281 passing yards and three touchdowns. The offense also put up 123 rushing yards to push the total yardage to 404.
That number nearly doubled that of Michigan, which mustered a mere 205 yards of total offense against an aroused Washingtion defense. Defensive tackle Steve Emtman, who shared Player of the Game honors with Hobert, led his defense to a performance that held Michigan to just 72 yards rushing and an astounding six quarterback sacks, matching the total the Wolverines had given up all year. Outside linebacker Donald Jones had three of those sacks; they also held Howard to just one catch.
“I don’t think I played well,” Emtman said. “This trophy belongs to our whole defense. We played well together. That’s why we are No. 1 in the country.”
Even though the Wolverines’ Heisman winner had little success, one Huskies’ receiver pleaded his case in the 1992 Rose Bowl Game, rather literally.
Mario Bailey caught six balls for 126 yards and one touchdown. Early in the fourth quarter, Washington had just taken over on downs on the Michigan 38-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Brunell hit Bailey in the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown. After making the catch, Bailey struck the Heisman pose.
“I wanted to prove that there is another receiver whose name is not Desmond Howard,” Bailey said. “It’s no longer Mario, who? It’s Mario Bailey. It’s No. 5, not 21.”
Though the decisive victory ultimately led to a national championship for Washington, they had to play the waiting game. The Huskies, however, had little doubt about how things would turn out.
“There is no question in my mind (we’re No. 1),” Emtman said. “There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind. We proved that we can play with anybody in the country. We’re 12-0. I think we deserve a ring.”
High Clouds; 74 degrees
Wash – Hobert, 2-yard (Hanson)
Mich – Smith, 9-yard pass from Grbac (Carlson kick good)
Wash – Hanson, 24-yard field goal
Wash – Hanson, 23-yard field goal
Wash – Bruener, 5-yard pass from Hobert (Pierce pass to Hobert for a 2-point conversion)
Wash – Pierce, 2-yard pass from Hobert (Hanson kick failed)
Wash – Bailey, 38-yard pass from Brunell (Hanson kick good)
Mich – Wheatley, 53-yard kick (Carlson kick good)
Washington: Don James
Michigan: Gary Moeller
In the 1992 Rose Bowl Game, the Washington Huskies defeated the Michigan Wolverines 34-14. The Huskies were voted National Champions by the USA Today-CNN Coaches Poll. The 1991 team averaged more than 41 points per game, only once scoring fewer than 20 points, and held opponents to an average of less than 10 points per game, including two shutouts. They are still widely considered to be one of the greatest single-season college football teams ever fielded.
Mich: Powers 10-10; Wheatley 9-65; Johnson 4-30; Howard 1-15
Wash: Bryant 15-38; Barry 13-37; Kaufman 6-26; M. Jones 3-22; Turner 1-3
Mich: Grbac 13-26-130; Collins 1-2-3
Wash: Hobert 18-34-192; Brunell 7-8-89
Mich: Van Dyne 4-22; Wheatley 3-30; R. Powers 3-18; Howard 1-35; McGee 1-14; W. Smith 1-9; J. Johnson
Wash: Pierce 7-86; Bailey 6-126; Bryant 5-22; M. Jones 2-7; Gaspard 1-15; McKay 1-12; Turner 1-6; Bruener 1-5; Barry 1-2
Mich: Azcona 10-378
Wash: Werdel 6-251