Road to 1991 Perfection: Barry Went 81 Yards and Nebraska Never Forgot it
Billy Joe Hobert took the snap and backpedaled, slyly slipping the ball to his waiting University of Washington running back, Jay Barry.
A junior from Denver, Barry bounced the draw play to his right, sidestepped a Nebraska tackler, then another, and he zipped up the right sideline, avoiding yet a third defender, before completing an 81-yard sprint to the end zone.
Barry dropped the football once he crossed the Cornhusker goal line and he raised both arms in jubilation before yanking off his helmet as the stadium turned uncomforably quiet.
"It was a draw, a slow-developing play," recalled Barry, who sells and develops real estate and has a construction company. "It just opened up and I just took it down the sideline and I was gone."
Using a fearsome offensive attack, the Huskies rallied from a 21-9 second-half deficit with 27 answered points for a 36-21 victory that day in 1991. Barry's touchdown was the capper to the late rush.
He finished with 110 yards rushing on 11 carries while fellow UW tailback Beno Bryant piled up 139 yards on 17 tries.
"That line and our tight ends and everything, we were a good team," Barry said. "They opened [the holes] up and you had to hurry on through and get on down there."
Husky wide receiver Orlando McKay ran 81 yards, too, if not more, arriving in the end zone right behind Barry. Once he saw his teammate break loose, he used his world-class speed to outrun most of the Cornhusker defense to join the celebration, as he describes in this video.
Before long Barry's brother Damon, another wide receiver, was in Jay's face as well, pounding on him for shocking the Cornhuskers and silencing the overflow Memorial Stadium.
"I'm yelling in his face and beating him up," Damon Barry said. "I was excited. I was his little brother."
This is another in a series of articles and videos that will replay the UW's 1991 national championship season, which is the apex of Husky football. We don't have a 2020 season yet, so we'll use '91 as a conversation piece.
The touchdown run came with six minutes remaining in the primetime game, considered one of the greatest victories in UW football annals.
Certainly Barry's 1991 exploits have stood the test of time in his Midwestern world. He still lives in Colorado, which borders Nebraska.
"People still recognize it, especially the people from Nebraska," Barry said of the 81-yard scoring run that is found at the end of this below video clip. "Because I'm from Colorado, Nebraska is a big rivalry. This doesn't happen much."
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