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Original Issue

15 Washington


Starters returning: 9
Yards gained:


Style: 3-4
Starters returning: 9
Yards allowed:

Some of senior Linebacker Michael Jackson's finest performances come in the Husky locker room after victories, when he does his Muhammad Ali imitation—mugging and spouting "We are the greatest" monologues. But Washington will gladly settle for his on-field feats. Jackson is the 6'½", 226-pounder who led the team in tackles (210) and interceptions (five, two of which came in a 28-10 upset of USC and another in the Huskies' 27-20 Rose Bowl win over Michigan).

Says Coach Don James, "At Kent State I coached Jack Lambert, now with the Steelers. Jack is the No. 1 competitor I've ever been around, but Mike is a better athlete."

Washington has plenty of other talented and experienced men on defense, notably Cornerback Nesby Glasgow, who was also the Pac 8's top punt returner last season, and Tackle Doug Martin. This is fortunate because the very first game is played at home against UCLA on national TV, and the Bruins don't figure to be easy to stop.

The mostly veteran offense looks potent, too, but James is undecided about who is going to be passing the ball to Split End Robert (Spider) Gaines, who averaged 22.3 yards per reception last year and had seven receptions in the Huskies' upset of Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Another sure-handed target is Tailback Joe Steele, who rushed for 865 yards and had 25 pass receptions in '77. The leading quarterback in spring practice was Duane Akina, a Hawaiian who backed up Warren Moon last year. But Akina injured a knee in practice, and the job now will go to junior-college transfer Tom Porras, with sophomore Tom Flick as backup. Both will be protected by an experienced line led by 252-pound tackle Jeff Toews.

Some Huskies are talking not only Pac-10 title but national title as well. As might be expected, Jackson is one. "We're good," he says. "We know it, and everybody else knows it. Let them come to town worrying about us this time. I guarantee you we're going to be there."