Nov. 8, 2006
By Tom Porter
Special contributing writer for GoHuskies.com
On October 30, 1999, 25th-ranked Stanford came to town to face the 4-3 Huskies who were led by junior quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo. On Washington's first offensive series, Tuiasosopo was dumped on his backside while completing a rollout pass.
He briefly went to the locker room for treatment on his bruised left gluteus maximus. His hip started to tighten up and he required in-game treatment to keep going. The Husky coaches did not let him sit while the offense was off the field. Instead he continually paced the sideline with quarterbacks' coach Steve Axman to keep his hip loose.
The Huskies trailed 17-12 at the half and a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Todd Husak to DeRonnie Pitts increased the Cardinal lead to 23-12 before the Huskies reeled off 23 unanswered points to win the game 35-30. The comeback was remarkable but it paled in significance compared to what Tuiasosopo did.
He gained 207 rushing yards and 302 passing yards as the Huskies rolled up 670 yards and controlled the clock for over 36 minutes. Afterwards, a check of the NCAA record book revealed that no player had ever put together a 200/300 game. His 509 yards of total offense currently ranks as the fifth-highest single-game individual effort in Pac-10 history.
Tuiasosopo carried the ball 22 times during the game and rushed for a pair of touchdowns. He completed 19-of-32 passes including one for a score. His second rushing score -- a 10-yard option keeper -- put the Huskies ahead for the first time with less than 10 minutes left.
Tuiasosopo wasn't the only player on the field making history that day. It was little consolation that Cardinal receiver Troy Walters became the leading receiver in Pac-10 history when his fifth reception in the game gave him 224 for his career. His catch put him ahead of Stanford's Darrin Nelson who caught 223 passes from 1977-1981.
The Huskies finished the regular season 7-4 and tied for second in the conference at 6-2. A 23-20 overtime loss to UCLA late in the season kept the Huskies from getting the 2000 Rose Bowl bid. They played seventh-ranked Kansas State in the Holiday Bowl and lost 24-20 in a thriller.
The following season, Tuiasosopo led the Huskies to a 11-1 season, a 34-24 victory over Purdue in the 2001 Rose Bowl and the No. 3 ranking in the nation behind Oklahoma and Miami. He was named the Pac-10's Offensive Player of the Year and became only the third UW signal caller to earn first-team all-conference honors. He was named MVP of the 2001 Rose Bowl after passing for 138 yards, rushing for 75 yards and passing and rushing for one touchdown each. He was also recognized as the top player on the West Coast when he was presented the 2000 Pop Warner Award.
Tom Porter has co-authored (with Jim Daves) two books on Husky athletics -- The Glory of Washington: The People and Events that Shaped the Husky Athletic Tradition and Husky Stadium: Great Games and Golden Moments. He has just completed another book, to be published in 2007 -- A Football Band of Brothers: Forging the University of Washington's First National Championship.