Dec. 29, 1999
SAN DIEGO - Now, this was an unconventional way to win the Holiday Bowl.
Kansas State needed no last-second heroics, just a long, grinding drive that quarterback Jonathan Beasley capped with a 1-yard run with 5:58 left as the Wildcats beat the Washington Huskies 24-20 on Wednesday night.
And what a drive it was, going 92 yards in 20 plays and eating 9 minutes, 54 seconds. It was Beasley's third TD run and the fifth lead change of another entertaining Holiday Bowl.
"You wouldn't think it would take you 20 plays to go the length of the field," said Beasley, the overlooked quarterback in this matchup. "But I'm glad we ate up some clock, because we spent a lot of time fumbling the ball out here and getting penalties and putting ourselves in harm's way on more than one occasion.
"We needed one drive somewhere along the line."
They got it, thanks to some key third-down conversions by Beasley, who was 6-of-9 for 63 yards on the drive.
"There were a couple of times it was third and very long," Beasley said.
Beasley completed third-down throws of 22 yards to Quincy Morgan and 10 yards to Martez Wesley, then ran a third-down keeper 3 yards to the Huskies 2. He audibled on the winning play, an option keeper to the right.
The drive was simply long for the Huskies.
"You're telling guys, `OK, suck it up, it's the last play,' and then he gets the first down," linebacker Lester Towns said. "People are just tired, dead tired out there. It was just hard, when you're out there for that long."
The winning drive began after Lamar Chapman stepped in front of receiver Gerald Harris and intercepted Marques Tuiasosopo's pass at the goal line, returning it eight yards with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.
"I thought I might be able to get it over him," Tuiasosopo said. "I threw a bad ball."
Kansas State finished 11-1, and seemed to enjoy itself in this postseason, unlike last year when it lost a shot at reaching the national championship game and then had a lackluster effort in an Alamo Bowl loss to Purdue.
The loss by Washington (7-5) dropped the beleaguered Pac-10 to 0-3 in bowls this year.
Washington had beaten K-State four times dating to 1950, all in Seattle, outscoring the Wildcats 150-13.
Tuiasosopo, who this season became the first major college quarterback to pass for 300 yards and run for 200 in a same game, was 18-of-27 for 197 yards with one interception and ran 11 times for 30 yards as the prime target of Kansas State's defense, the second-stingiest in the country.
Tuiasosopo was tackled by Monty Beisel on an option play on fourth-and-5 from the 50 with 3:37 left, then safety Jon McGraw broke up his long pass with 2:09 left.
Beasley, who struggled in the second half of the season with a pulled muscle in his throwing shoulder, also scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and an 11-yarder on the opening drive of the second half, on which he also audibled, for a 17-13 lead.
Washington became the first team to score on K-State in the third quarter this year, as tailback Maurice Shaw scored on a 5-yard run with 2:28 left for a 20-17 lead.
Beasley was named the outstanding offensive player of the game while K-State defensive end Darren Howard was named defensive player of the game for his 2 1/2 sacks. Kansas State sacked Tuiasosopo four times, all in the first half.
Huskies first-year coach Rick Neuheisel, hired away from Colorado in January, fell to 2-3 against Kansas State.
"It was one of the best defenses I've seen at the collegiate level," Neuheisel said. "If you threw a grenade out there, you'd get all of them because they are all so close to the ball."
Beasley completed 15-of-31 for 216 yards and gained 48 yards on 20 carries.
Beasley's first score came one play after Frank Murphy gained 12 yards on fourth-and-1.
Washington's best drive of the night came in the third quarter. Tuiasosopo helped the Huskies overcome two holding penalties by going 6-of-6 for 68 yards.
With Washington leading 13-10 late in the second quarter, Kansas State's Jamie Rheem pushed a 22-yard field goal attempt wide left.
The Pac-10 is 1-7 in bowls during the last two seasons, the only win coming when Arizona beat Nebraska 23-20 in last year's Holiday Bowl. The Huskies have lost five of their last six bowls.
The Holiday Bowl is sponsored by Culligan.
By BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer