The Washington football team has won seven Rose Bowls and an Orange Bowl. It has come out on top at Miami, Michigan and Nebraska during the regular season. It has beaten USC on rare occasion in Los Angeles.
But in my mind, there is no greater Huskies’ victory in program history than the one that took place on Oct. 1, 1966, in Columbus, Ohio.
Washington 38, Ohio State 22.
Before 80,241 shocked fans at the Horseshoe, the two-touchdown underdog Huskies followed the lead of legendary running back Donnie Moore, marched into that football shrine and absolutely punished the Woody Hayes-coached Buckeyes.
Moore carried the ball 30 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns at Ohio State, snapping off a 47-yard run on his final rushing attempt for an emphatic fourth-quarter score. He was so dominant he didn’t lose a yard all afternoon.
He easily shattered the rushing record for an opposing back at the Buckeyes’ illustrious stadium, which was J.C. Caroline’s 192-yard output for Illinois in 1953.
Moore was named Associated Press and Sports Illustrated national back of the week for his efforts.
The Huskies’ 5-foot-8 ½ running back from Tacoma, and first cousin of Bobby Moore (later known as Ahmad Rashad), put it better than anyone when he described what happened on that Midwestern football battlefield that day:
“We got down and dirty in the trenches, then we broke their spirits.”
As Washington and Ohio State prepare to meet in the 111th Rose Bowl next Tuesday, this 1966 game remains a benchmark for the Huskies. They had won two Rose Bowls in a neutral setting by then, but had never beaten one of college football’s elite teams in a non-conference game on the road before. The UW still has never embarrassed a legacy team on its home field quite like this, jumping out to 21-0 and 28-7 leads over the Buckeyes.
I was a Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports writer when after a lengthy search I found Donnie Moore living in Southern California 15 years ago, estranged from Husky football after getting tossed off the team for ridiculous reasons—drinking beer in a tavern—and having his health turn on him in later years in a serious manner.
He was still an impressive physical specimen at 57 years old.
He was so remorseful over his abbreviated college career at Washington that he cried throughout two days of interviews.
No offense to Myles Gaskin, but Donnie Moore could have been the greatest UW running back ever had he not been made an example during racist times. Try topping 221 rushing yards at Ohio State. Nobody else comes close.
Here’s a rehash I wrote long ago of that unforgettable gam. Just tap on the headline: