Nov. 12, 2005
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - James Sims rushed for a career-high 200 yards in 30 carries and Washington ended a 14-game Pac-10 losing streak with a 31-14 victory over turnover-plagued Arizona on Saturday night.
The Huskies (2-8, 1-6) had not won a conference game since beating Washington State in the finale of the 2003 season. Their only other victory under first-year coach Ty Willingham came seven games ago against Idaho.
But they rolled for 333 yards rushing and took advantage of Arizona freshman quarterback Willie Tuitama's many mistakes.
Sims became the first Huskies' player to top 200 yards rushing since Marques Tuiasosopo gained 207 against Stanford on Oct. 30, 1999.
Arizona (3-7, 2-5) had won two in a row behind Tuitama, the latest a 52-14 stunner over then-No. 7 UCLA a week ago. But the 18-year-old threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball away twice in his third collegiate start.
Roy Lewis returned the last pick 42 yards for a touchdown to put Washington ahead 38-14 with 7:20 to play.
Isaiah Stanback's 69-yard touchdown pass to Craig Chambers as the first half ended tied the game at 14-all, then the Huskies turned a pair of turnovers into scores to lead 28-14 going into the fourth quarter.
Stanback rushed for 96 yards in 14 carries, including touchdown runs of 28 and 1 yards.
Tuitama, 22-for-41 for 235 yards and two touchdowns, fumbled the snap on third-and-inches at the Washington 49, perhaps his most costly turnover. The Huskies' Tahj Bomar recovered, and Washington went 51 yards in seven plays, Stanback scoring on a 1-yard run to put the visitors up 28-14 with 3:14 left in the third quarter.
Early, Tuitama seemed headed for another big day. Michael Johnson intercepted Stanback's pass at the Arizona 34. A pass interference penalty and Tuitama's 23-yard screen pass to Mike Bell moved the ball to the Washington 18. Two plays later, Tuitama threw a 17-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Syndric Steptoe to make it 7-0 with 10:57 left in the third quarter.
But Washington went 80 yards in nine plays, Sims scoring from 2 yards out to tie it at 7-7 with 36 seconds left in the first half. A 15-yard facemask penalty helped the drive. Sims gained 36 yards in four carries en route to the score. He had 119 yards in 16 carries in the first quarter alone.
Arizona regained the lead, 14-7, on Tuitama's 3-yard TD pass to Gilbert Harris with 1:09 left in the half, and the Wildcats seemed assured of holding a lead at the break.
But Stanback let loose the long pass to Chambers as the first half ended to tie it at 14-14 in front of the stunned crowd of 52,505. Chambers caught it between two defenders near the goal line. The ball traveled at least 70 yards in the air.
Washington's go-ahead touchdown early in the third quarter came after Tuitama's pass was intercepted by Josh Okeabor. Okeabor fumbled on the return and Arizona recovered, but the ball was awarded to the Huskies at the Wildcats 33 because of an inadvertent whistle after the interception.
Three plays later, Stanback ran 28 yards on a quarterback draw to put Washington ahead 21-14 with 12:45 left in the third.