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Road to 1991 Perfection: 'We Put Our Cleats in Their Throats'

Former University of Washington quarterback Billy Joe Hobert colorfully describes one of the biggest victories in Husky history.

Billy Joe Hobert insists he doesn't remember many details from the 1991 national championship season. After all, it's been almost 30 years. He's a middle-aged man now. 

Ah, but that's not true at all. 

Prod him a little, and the former University of Washington quarterback revisits the 36-21 victory at Nebraska in Week 2 and he delivers. He puts his typical Billy Joe spin on running back Jay Barry's 81-yard scoring jaunt off a draw to close out the Husky  that night.

"What I remember most about that game is Barry's long touchdown run," Hobert said. "I've never seen somebody run a 5.2 40 and run that far for a touchdown."


Hobert, who replaced injured Mark Brunell as the starter that season with many people questioning his ability, turned in one of his better games even with the Huskies falling behind 21-9 in the third quarter. 

"I remember being about as locked in as I've ever been locked in in my life," he said. "We were going to win this game over hell or high water."

Hobert wasn't sure if he threw a TD pass that evening against Nebraska. The answer was a definitive yes. He hooked up with wide receiver Orlando McKay on an 8-yard scoring toss that proved to be the game-winner, sending the UW into a 22-21 lead with 11:20 left to play.

He completed 23 of 40 passes for 218 yards and that lone score in his second starting assignment, both on the road.

Kris Rongen, shown in this video, was a starting offensive guard who provided Hobert with protection that game. He had a few Lincoln memories. 

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Hobert wasn't totally sure that he ran for a touchdown against the Cornhuskers either. Again, the answer was a solid yes. On a keeper, he scored from 3 yards out to put the Huskies ahead 29-21 with 7:26 remaining. 

Barry's breakaway run, though his quarterback good-naturedly questions the breakaway part, sealed everything in the Nebraska heartland.

"We ended up stomping them," Hobert said. "We were down for a very long, long time and we came back and put our cleats to their throat. It was cool to be part of that."

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're six weeks out from the late start to the 2020 season. Meantime, we'll use '91 as a conversation piece.

Monday: Billy Joe Hobert harkens back to the Nebraska game one more time and describes the only regret he carries from his star-crossed UW career. It's a must-see, must-read.

Tuesday: We catch up with the quarterback Hobert replaced, Mark Brunell, who returned for the Kansas State game.

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