Through 91 years, Husky Stadium has seen a lot. It has been home to 15 conference-champion, 14 Rose Bowl, and two national-champion teams.
Fourteen college football Hall of Famers donned the purple and gold on the Husky Stadium field. Three more have gone on to have Hall-of-Fame careers in the NFL.
Husky Stadium looks like a venue that has seen it all. Its large sides rise above the field with old wooden benches. It trembles as fans make noise. And players confide that the stadium funnels noise so well it is tough to hear yourself think on the field.
Fans sure have had the opportunity to make noise, too. Husky Stadium has played host to many memorable games and moments over the years. So, without further ado, here are nine of the most celebrated moments in its 91-year history.
Nov. 27, 1920 The beginning
Husky Stadium got off to an inauspicious start as the home of the Huskies. In its first game at the new stadium, the UW was defeated 28-7 by Dartmouth, which was in the midst of a 7-2 season. It capped a 1-5 season for the Huskies in their only year under head coach Stub Allison.
Nov. 22, 1975 Spider saves the day
In an Apple Cup between two unranked teams, the Cougars led 27-14 and held the ball at the UW 14-yard line with about three minutes left to play. UW safety Al Burleson promptly returned an interception 93 yards for a touchdown, setting up one of the most famous plays in Husky history. After the ensuing WSU punt, UW quarterback and future NFL Hall-of-Famer Warren Moon heaved a prayer down the left sideline. The ball ricocheted off at least two pairs of Cougar hands before settling into the awaiting arms of UW wide receiver Spider Gaines, who scampered his way to the end zone to seal both the game for the Huskies and his own UW football immortality.
Nov. 21, 1981 Rose Bowl bound
It was the way Apple Cups should be played: with both teams ranked — WSU at No. 14 and UW at No. 17 — and a high-flying Cougar offense facing a staunch Husky defense. Washington quarterback Steve Pelluer and All-American kicker Chuck Nelson gave the UW a memorable home victory, 23-10. However, the loudest roar from the crowd was reserved for the announcement that USC had upset UCLA, which meant that the Huskies were headed to the Rose Bowl.
Sept. 22, 1990 “All I saw was purple”
In what is widely viewed as the first real step toward its national championship a year later, a dominant Husky defense thrashed No. 5 USC, 31-0, on a 93-degree afternoon at Husky Stadium. USC quarterback Todd Marinovich entered the game as a Heisman Trophy candidate, but left unsure as to what, exactly, had just happened. “All I saw was purple,” he said after the game. “No jerseys, no numbers. Just purple.”
Sept. 19, 1992 133.6 decibels
The Huskies entered this much-hyped matchup with No. 12 Nebraska as the No. 2 team in the country, fresh off a national championship and in possession of a 16-game winning streak. The UW went on to win, 29-14, but that’s almost beside the point. The real magic came at the end of the first quarter, with the Cornhuskers pinned back at their own 3-yard line. Nebraska was called for consecutive false starts, serving to only further amp up a sell-out crowd. On the next play, safety Tommie Smith came off of left tackle and sacked quarterback Mike Grant for a safety, bringing the crowd to levels of noise previously unheard in a football stadium. An ESPN decibel-reader on the sideline recorded the crowd noise at 133.6 decibels, roughly equivalent to the volume of a jet engine from 100 feet away, and still the loudest crowd ever recorded at a college football game to this day.
Oct. 30, 1999 Tuiasosopo makes history
Marques Tuiasosopo became the only player in FBS history to pass for over 300 yards and rush for over 200 yards in the same game.
Stanford came to Montlake ranked 25th in the country, but it couldn’t overcome one of the greatest performances in college-football history by Husky quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo. The Huskies trailed 17-12 at the half, but, as it happened so many times throughout his career, Tuiasosopo refused to let the Huskies lose. The junior rallied the Huskies, who scored 23-straight points to beat the Cardinal 35-30, becoming the only player in FBS history to pass for over 300 yards and rush for over 200 yards in the same game.
Sept. 9, 2000 Beating the best of the best
Tuiasosopo once again reeled off a great performance for the Huskies, passing for 225 yards and a touchdown and running for 45 yards and another score as the Huskies beat No. 4 Miami, 34-29. was Miami’s only loss of the season; in fact, the Hurricanes promptly launched a 34-game winning streak, and in 2001 had a team that many consider to be the greatest in college-football history.
Nov. 22, 2003 Pickett’s charge
The unranked Huskies trailed 16-7 early in the fourth quarter to the No. 8 Cougars. Cornerback Derrick Johnson then intercepted a pass and returned it deep into WSU territory, setting up a touchdown that made the score 16-14. The Cougars answered with a field goal, setting up one final UW drive. Quarterback Cody Pickett drove the Huskies down the field to the 21-yard line when, facing a second-and-five, he dropped a perfectly placed pass into the hands of wide receiver Corey Williams, who collapsed into the end zone to give the UW a 20-19 lead. The late Marquis Cooper promptly sealed the victory with his 39-yard interception return for a touchdown on the ensuing Cougar drive. For the third consecutive year, the Huskies had upset a top-10 WSU team.
Sept. 19, 2009 The fall of Troy
Having ended their 15-game losing streak against Idaho just the week before, nobody thought the Huskies were ready to knock off the No. 3 Trojans. USC had owned college football for most of the decade, and the Huskies had gone winless the previous season. But with the score tied at 13 late in the fourth quarter, the Huskies had all they needed: the ball in Jake Locker’s hands. The talented quarterback drove the length of the field, and Erik Folk kicked the game winning field goal as time expired and students and fans rushed the field.
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