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1986 Sun Bowl

1986 John Hancock Sun Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
Washington 0 6 0 0 6
Alabama 0 7 14 7 28
Date December 25, 1986
Season 1986
Stadium Sun Bowl Stadium
Location El Paso, Texas
MVP Cornelius Bennett, Alabama DE
Steve Alvord, Washington G
Attendance 48,722
United States TV coverage
Network CBS
Announcers: Brent Musburger, Ara Parseghian,
John Dockery
Sun Bowl
 < 1985  1987

The 1986 Sun Bowl featured the Alabama Crimson Tide of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Washington Huskies of the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10). In Ray Perkins's final game as Alabama head coach, the Crimson Tide defeated the Huskies 28–6.[1] The game is noted as being the first bowl game to have corporate sponsorship with John Hancock Insurance entering in the first year of a three-year, $1.5 million partnership.[2]


  • Teams 1
    • Alabama 1.1
    • Washington 1.2
  • Game summary 2
  • Post-Game 3
  • References 4



The 1986 Alabama squad opened the season 7–0, only to lose three of its final five regular season games to finish with a 9–3 record. Following their loss against Auburn in the Iron Bowl, university officials announced they accepted an invitation to play in the Sun Bowl. The appearance marked the second for Alabama in the Sun Bowl, and their 39th overall bowl game appearance.


The 1986 Washington squad finished the regular season with a record of 8–2–1. Tied for second place in the Pac-10, the Huskies lost to USC, Arizona State and tied UCLA. Following their victory over Washington State in the Apple Cup, university officials announced they accepted an invitation to play in the Sun Bowl.[3] The appearance marked the second for Washington in the Sun Bowl, and their 17th overall bowl game appearance.

Game summary

After a scoreless first quarter, Alabama scored first on a 64-yard Bobby Humphrey touchdown run to take a 7–0 lead.[2] Washington responded with a pair of Jeff Jaeger field goals to cut the lead to 7–6 at the half.[2] Alabama extended their lead to 21–6 with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. Mike Shula was responsible for both touchdowns with the first coming on a 32-yard pass to Greg Richardson and the second on a 17-yard pass to Bobby Humphrey.[2] Humphrey then scored the final points of the game midway through the fourth on a three-yard run to cap a 16-play, 92-yard drive.[2]

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Washington Alabama
2 13:45 3 plays, 72 yards 1:15 Alabama Bobby Humphrey 64-yard touchdown run, Van Tiffin kick good 0 7
2 5:55 11 plays, 48 yards Washington 31-yard field goal by Jeff Jaeger 3 7
2 0:38 11 plays, 47 yards Washington 34-yard field goal by Jeff Jaeger 6 7
3 6:24 6 plays, 48 yards Alabama Greg Richardson 32-yard touchdown reception from Mike Shula, Van Tiffin kick good 6 14
3 0:13 6 plays, 83 yards Alabama Bobby Humphrey 17-yard touchdown reception from Mike Shula, Van Tiffin kick good 6 21
4 7:16 16 plays, 92 yards Alabama Bobby Humphrey 3-yard touchdown run, Van Tiffin kick good 6 28
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 6 28


According to then Washington defensive coordinator Jim Lambright, the 1986 Sun Bowl highlighted the need for Washington to begin to recruit speed more seriously.[4] Lambright would later be quoted as saying, "[i]t was after our bowl game against Alabama in the Sun Bowl [that we started recruiting speed specifically] .... [W]hen we broke down the film, there was no way that our personnel matched their personnel as far as speed. So we went out after that to specifically recruit faster people .... We weren't selective enough up to that point with speed."[5]

Just over five years later, Washington would win the National Championship.


  1. ^ Hurt, Cecil (December 26, 1986). "Bama ends season happily, 28–6". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 1. Retrieved January 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Alabama puts Huskies in Sun Bowl doghouse". Tri-City Herald. Associated Press. December 26, 1986. p. D1. Retrieved January 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Hancock, Hec (November 23, 1986). "UW 44, WSU 23: 3 field goals give Jaeger all-time record". Tri-City Herald. p. D1. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
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