Michigan, whose Coach Bo Schembechler was zero for bowls coming into today's, dominated Washington, 23-6, for only the Big Ten's second victory over the Pacific Coast representative in the last 12 Rose Bowls.
Michigan had lost five Rose Bowls, an Orange Bowl and a Gator Bowl in Schembechler's 12 seasons. But there were no thorns in the roses today because Washington couldn't contain Wolverine tailback Butch Woolfolk and all-America wide receiver Anthony Carter in the second half.
Fifth-ranked Michigan led at halftime, 7-6, but No. 16 Washington, behind the passing of quarterback Tom Flick, seemed the better team. The Huskies, however, squandered scoring chances, on one of which they were stopped at the Michigan one-yard line.
The Huskies, who had upset the Wolverines, 27-20, in the 1978 Rose Bowl, couldn't get anything going in the second half. Coach Don James' team didn't have good field position and Michigan controlled the ball.
Woolfolk, a Big Ten spirit champion, was named player of the game. The hard-running, 6-foot-1, 207-pound tailback gained 182 yards on 26 carries, a seven-yard average, and scored a touchdown.
Carter, a 5-11, 155-pound sophomore, did not catch a pass in the first half. But he contributed key plays in setting a field goal and on both touchdown drives in the second.
Carter caught five passes for 68 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown thrown from quarterback John Wangler that provided the Wolverines with a 17-6 lead late in the third quarter. He also ran for 33 yards on four pitchouts.
Wangler was out in front all the way today. He completed 12 of 20 passes for 120 yards and the scoring throw to Carter.
Flick looked as if he would rival Wisconsin's Ron Vanderkelen as the most prolific passer in Rose Bowl history in the first half.
The Washington quarterback spread his passes around to four alternating wide receivers, his tight end and his backs and had the Michigan defense off balance. He completed 15 of 23 for 188 yards in that half. Nice figures, but no touchdowns. And he was only eight of 14 in the second half as Michigan's offense kept Flick off the field with its time-consuming drives.
Michigan (10-2) finished the season with an impressive statistic not allowing a touchdown in more than 22 quarters dating back to an Oct. 25 game with Illinois.
Moreover, the swarming Wolverine defenders allowed only three touchdown passes this season.
The Woverines drove 80, 84 and 62 yards for touchdowns and 75 yards for a field goal.
The 84-yard advance in the third quarter put Washington (9-3) away. Wangler and Carter kept the advance going with a 14-yard pass on second down and 11 at the Washington 37. Carter cut quickly over the middle to take Wangler's pass. Two plays later Wangler found Carter in the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown.
Michigan now was ahead, 17-6 and a 13-play, 62-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter wrapped it up with fullback Stan Edwards driving in from the one.
The Huskies could have put pressure on the Wolverines and might have won if they had cashed in on scoring opportunities in the first half.
The most frustrating miss came in the first quarter when, in a scoreless game, Husky fullback Toussaint Tyler dived over the middle on fourth and goal from the Wolverine one.
One official signaled a touchdown but quickly pulled his hands down. Another official signaled no score. The Huskies didn't openly complain about the ruling in the locker room afterward.
Flick said he thought Tyler said he didn't have control of the ball while airborne.
The Huskies blew other scoring chances, too. The breakdown:
On Washington's first series, a Michigan defender tipped a Flick pass into the hands of wider receiver Aaron Williams, who ran 52 yards to the Wolverine 23. But Washington tight end David Bayle was cited of offensive pass interference, nullifying the long gain.
The Huskies got to the Wolverine 37 late in the first quarter, but Flick misfired on two passes to Williams and Washington punted.
Early in the second quarter, the Huskies had second and six at the Wolverine 25. But Flick was blitzed and threw a hurried pass that was intercepted by defensive back Brian Carpenter.
With Washington trailing, 7-3, and time running out in the first half, Flick put on the big-league passing show. He completed seven straight as the Huskies moved from their 10 to the Michigan 19. With 17 seconds remaining, Flick threw a nine-yard sideline pass to tailback. Kyle stevens. It seemed Stevens had gotten out of bounds but an official ruled differently. So, with the clock still running, Flick rushed a pass to the end zone, it was incomplete and there was just time for Chuck Nelson to kick his second field goal.
On Washington's first drive in the second quarter, Stevens fumbled after a two-yard gain to the Michigan 22. Center Mike Reilly picked the ball out of the air and ran into the end zone. But an official had called the play dead before Stevens lost the ball.