1985 Freedom Bowl
Freedom Bowl II
1234 Total
Colorado 0737 17
Washington 3773 20
DateDecember 30, 1985
StadiumAnaheim Stadium
LocationAnaheim, California
MVPChris Chandler (QB, UW)
FavoriteWashington by 4 points [1]
United States TV coverage
NetworkLorimar Sports Network
AnnouncersBarry Tompkins and Lou Holtz
Freedom Bowl
 < 1984  1986

The 1985 Freedom Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game played on December 30, 1985, in Anaheim, California. It matched the Washington Huskies of the Pacific-10 Conference and the Colorado Buffaloes of the Big Eight Conference.[2][3]



See also: 1985 Colorado Buffaloes football team

The Buffaloes finished tied for third in the Big Eight at 7–4 in the regular season. With only one win the previous year and six consecutive losing seasons, this was Colorado's first bowl game since the 1976 season, when they played in the Orange Bowl.


See also: 1985 Washington Huskies football team

The Huskies finished fourth in the Pac-10, but lost three of their last five games to finish the regular season at 6–5. It was their seventh straight bowl game, and eighth under head coach Don James. Washington had finished second in the nation the previous season.

Game summary

Jeff Jaeger gave the Huskies the lead late in the first quarter on a 30-yard field goal. The Buffaloes scored back on a one-yard touchdown by Anthony Weatherspoon. The Huskies scored with 30 seconds remaining in the half on a David Toy three yard touchdown run to make it 10-7 at halftime.[2][3]

Colorado kicker Larry Eckel tied the game with a 33-yard field goal, but Washington scored quickly on a Tony Covington touchdown run three minutes later. An 18-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter made it 20–10. The Buffaloes responded later in the quarter with a drive into Washington territory, all the way to the 31. But on fourth down, the Buffaloes had to decide whether to kick a field goal or go for the first down. They sent out their punt team, led by punter Barry Helton. He took the snap and threw a 31-yard pass to tight end Jon Embree, who scored to make it 20–17 with 11:05 remaining. Colorado had one last chance with five minutes remaining deep into the Huskies' territory, but Mike Marquez fumed the ball at the two, as Washington held on to win their second straight bowl game.[2][3] With the loss, Colorado's bowl losing streak stood at four.[4]


The two schools were to be paid $500,000 each to participate in this game, which almost killed the bowl due to stagnant funds after paying approximately $430,000 of the one million combined for both schools before the deadline, which had to be extended. However, the bowl president went before the Anaheim City Council and was given a $250,000 in an interest-free loan to pay the schools. This was not the first money trouble the bowl had, as the first bowl game had less than marginal success and left the Bowl in debt, having to use the proceeds from next years bowl game to pay off the previous year. The loan was due to be paid in full by 1994 (with payment starting in 1992). Fittingly, the Freedom Bowl disbanded after that year. Strangely enough, Helton's pass was the longest touchdown pass in Colorado bowl history until 1991.[5]


Statistics Washington   Colorado  
First Downs 20 15
Yards Rushing 207 190
Yards Passing 141 44
Total Yards 348 234
Interceptions 1 0



  1. ^ "A fight for Freedom". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. December 30, 1985. p. B1.
  2. ^ a b c d Penner, Mike (December 31, 1985). "UW holds on; Buffs don't". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (Los Angeles Times). p. 1B.
  3. ^ a b c d "Strong defense preserves Huskies' Freedom". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. December 31, 1985. p. C1.
  4. ^ "Washington – Freedom Bowl – Fake punt! – CU at the Game".
  5. ^ "Archives". Los Angeles Times.