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Touching up a smudged powerhouse isn't easy, but you have to
start somewhere: Washington has transformed its former
panting-dog logo into a closed-mouth canine that is, according
to school literature, more "regal and majestic." The gridiron
Huskies are counting on a similar refurbishing.

Pac-10 sanctions, levied against Washington after boosters gave
improper loans and summer jobs to players, precluded bowl
appearances and limited scholarships the past two seasons. But
from 1990 to '92, the Huskies went to three straight Rose Bowls,
and many of the team's old-timers are eager to return to what
they call their home away from home: Pasadena. "We are banless,"
says senior defensive tackle Stephen Hoffmann, coining a word
for the occasion, "and that's a big-time thrill for this team."

Leading the way will be senior quarterback Damon Huard. With
tailback Napoleon Kaufman gone to the NFL, coach Jim Lambright
says, "This is Damon's team, and I fully expect him to
dominate." Look for the Huskies to spread the field, sometimes
with four receivers, and allow Huard to fire out of the shotgun.
At 6'4" and 215 pounds, Huard has a strong arm and a soft touch,
but in the past he felt out of sync in the Huskies' run-oriented
offense. Now he is strutting around with the bravado of an Old
West gunslinger. "We're going to air it out this year, and I
can't wait for the challenge," he says.

Senior tight end Ernie Conwell will be the focus of Washington's
passing attack. A 6'3", 240-pound freak of nature, Conwell runs
a 4.54 40, bench-presses a team-high 500 pounds and has supple
hands and nimble feet. In a word? "Scary," says Huard. "Stud,"
says Hoffmann.

The Husky logo isn't the only thing that has been streamlined
for this season. Lambright has scrapped many of the defense's
complex sets and gone to a meat-and-potatoes system that allows
the players to think less and react more. "What you're going to
see is guys hustling all over the field and flying to the ball
as a unit," says senior Reggie Reser, one of the Pac-10's best
cornerbacks. "Just like all those great Washington defenses of
the past."

Lambright can count on a couple of body-rocking playmakers up
the middle in all-conference junior free safety Lawyer Milloy
(page 98) and junior inside linebacker Ink Aleaga. One of the
most intriguing Huskies is outside 'backer Ikaika Malloe, a
former walk-on who, at 5'11", 195 pounds, is one of the Huskies'
hardest hitters. Tough to figure? "Ikaika's secret is that he
has the hardest head on the team," Hoffmann says.

As Washington readies for its first run at Pasadena since '92,
the veterans have been flashing the rings and sweats they earned
at Rose Bowls past. "The young guys are, like, Ooooh, we want
some of that," Reser says. Don't be too surprised if they get

--Alan Shipnuck

COLOR PHOTO: PETER READ MILLER Conwell will be a sizable target for the now pass-happy Huskies. [Ernie Conwell in game]


Head coach: Jim Lambright
Career college record: 14-8
Third season at Washington (14-8)

1994 RECORD: 7-4
Pac-10 record: 4-4 (fifth)

L at USC 24-17
W Ohio State 25-16
W at Miami 38-20
W UCLA 37-10
W San Jose State 34-20
W Arizona State 35-14
L at Oregon 31-20
W Oregon State 24-10
L at Stanford 46-28
W California 31-19
L at Washington State 23-6

Final '94 ranking: unranked

Lettermen lost: 14
Lettermen returning: 38
Returning starters, offense: 6
Returning starters, defense: 6

Oct. 7 Notre Dame
Oct. 21 at Arizona
Oct. 28 USC