Score by Quarters
The Washington Huskies managed to hold off the Michigan Wolverines in the 1978 Rose Bowl Game, 27-20. The Huskies were underdogs coming in, with the experts picking Michigan to win by 13 points.
The Huskies managed to shut out the run-oriented option Wolverines in the first half and opened a 17-point lead.
“Who are the experts?” Washington Head Coach Don James asked. “We had some opportunities and we took advantage of them. Michigan did a great job of throwing the football. We tried almost everything defensively against them.”
Quarterback Warren Moon led the Huskies to a first-quarter touchdown on a 2-yard run. The Huskies added a 30-yard field goal and Moon added another touchdown on a 1-yard run to give Washington a comfortable halftime edge.
“Warren Moon played great today but then he’s played very good all year,” James said. “Warren has a lot of guts and so does our offensive coordinator (Dick Scesniak). It was not expected that we could hang in there with them head to head. I was afraid going in that we could not run the football. We were able to run and I’m very pleased with our offensive line.”
Washington expanded its lead to 24-0 with five minutes to play in the third quarter on a 28-yard pass play from Moon to Spider Gaines for a touchdown.
Michigan then launched its comeback. The Wolverines scored their first points of the game on a 76-yard touchdown pass-run from quarterback Rick Leach to Curt Stephenson.
The Huskies answered with a 28-yard field goal to take a 27-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Wolverines fought back with a 2-yard TD run by Russell Davis and a 32-yard scoring pass from Leach to Stanley Edwards. However, time was not on the Wolverines’ side on this New Year’s Day, with their offense waking up too little, too late.
“We simply got too far behind and couldn’t quite catch up,” said Michigan Head Coach Bo Schembechler. “When you get far behind, the little mistakes add up.
“Even when it was 17-0, I thought we would come back and win. I could have swore we would win 28-27. Yes, we had our two-point play ready and would have gone with it had we scored at the end.”
Light haze; 62 degrees
Wash – Moon, 2-yard run (Robbins kick good)
Wash – Robbins, 30-yard field goal
Wash – Moon, 1-yard run (Robbins kick good)
Wash – Gaines, 28-yard pass from Moon (Robbins kick good)
Mich – Stephenson, 76-yard pass from Leach (Willner kick good)
Wash – Robbins, 28-yard field goal
Mich – Davis, 2-yard run (Willner kick good)
Mich – Edwards 32-yard pass from Leach (Willner kick failed)
Michigan: Bo Schembechler
Washington: Don James
The 1978 Rose Bowl Game featured future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who was voted the game MVP.
Mich: Leach 9-5; Edwards 15-74; R. Davis 18-79; Clayton 2-12
Wash: Gipson 15-48; Rowland 8-32; Gaines 1-11; Steele 13-77
Mich: Leach 14-27-239
Wash: Moon 12-23-188; Wilson 1-1-46
Mich: R. Davis 3-26; Clayton 5-84; R. Smith 1-4; Edwards 2-41; R. White 2-8; Stephenson 1-76
Wash: Gaines 4-122; Steele 1-8; Greenwood 3-28; Gipson 2-24; Rowland 1-3; Stevens 1-46; K. Richardson 1-3
Mich: Anderson 4-170
Wash: Wilson 5-195