13th-Ranked Huskies Outgun No. 23 Beavers
Oct. 7, 2000
SEATTLE - The Washington Huskies found out first hand what second-year coach Dennis Erickson has done to the once-downtrodden Oregon State football program.
It wasn't over until Oregon State's Ryan Cesca missed a 46-yard field-goal attempt with 14 seconds left. Cesca had plenty of leg, but the kick was wide right.
The crowd of 73,145 at Husky Stadium watched anxiously when Jonathan Smith drove Oregon State (4-1, 1-1 Pacific-10) from its 26 to the Washington 28 in the final 4:55 before Cesca's miss.
"We feel we're a legitimate Rose Bowl contender," Smith said. "So any time you lose, it's a disappointment."
Oregon State lost its 13th straight to Washington (4-1, 1-1), but the game was a thriller compared to the Huskies' 47-21 victory last year in Corvallis.
"Is this a shootout conference or what?" Washington coach Rick Neuheisel asked at his postgame news conference.
"I thought this was the best we've played on offense this year," said Erickson, who coached the NFL's Seattle Seahawks for four seasons. "But I also thought it was the worst we've played on defense."
Alexis gave Washington a 26-21 lead with a 1-yard touchdown run in the first minute of the fourth quarter. But the Beavers' Keith Heyward-Johnson scored a 2-point conversion when he picked up Tuiasosopo's fumble and raced the length of the field.
The Huskies made it 33-23 with 8:23 to go when Tuiasosopo scored on a 4-yard run, but the Beavers responded with Smith's 80-yard touchdown pass to Chad Johnson with 7:22 to go.
In the third quarter, Smith had an 11-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a third-down play, as Oregon State took a 21-20 lead.
There were 978 yards of offense, 504 by the Huskies, including 281 by rushing.
"Those are some pretty high totals against a very good defense," Tuiasosopo said.
Smith completed 13 of 24 passes for 314 yards for Oregon State, which got 100-yard receiving games from Johnson and Robert Prescott. Oregon State's Ken Simonton rushed 23 times for 104 yards.
For Washington, Alexis and Paul Arnold each had 100-yard rushing games. Arnold, the starting tailback, also caught seven passes for 65 yards.
Washington led 20-14 at halftime after dominating the second quarter, getting a 1-yard touchdown run by Alexis to tie it early in the period before John Anderson kicked field goals of 27 and 23 yards. Anderson's 23-yarder came as time expired in the first half.
In the opening period, Oregon State had two long scoring plays - Smith's 48-yard pass to Prescott, and Patrick McCall's 43-yard run. The Huskies scored a touchdown in the quarter on Tuiasosopo's 16-yard pass to Justin Robbins.
When Cesca kicked Oregon State's first two extra points, he broke his school's record for consecutive conversions at 55.
The Huskies lost their starting fullback, Pat Conniff, in the first quarter with a sprained knee.
Washington bounced back from a loss at No. 9 Oregon last week, while Oregon State fell a week after its big victory at home against No. 18 Southern Cal.
Under Erickson, Oregon State had its first winning season since 1970 last year and also went to its first bowl game since the Beavers were in the Rose Bowl after the 1964 season.
By JIM COUR