Tui, Huskies come up roses

Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2001

PASADENA, Calif. -- Because Marques Tuiasosopo came back, Washington didn't need a comeback in the Rose Bowl.

When the quarterback left the field with an injured throwing shoulder late in the third quarter Monday, it appeared Washing-ton's hopes went with him even though the Huskies led Purdue by three points.

''I was mad,'' Tuiasosopo said. ''I was like, 'Can you believe this, the Rose Bowl game?'''

He missed three plays, returned before the start of the fourth quarter and then guided No. 4 Washington to two touchdowns and a 34-24 victory over the 14th-ranked Boilermakers.

Voted the player of the game, Tuiasosopo ran for one touchdown, passed for another and accounted for 213 yards.

''He is the absolute epitome of what a quarterback should be,'' Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said. ''He hurt his shoulder, he came back in there and said he could play. The rest, as they say, is history.''

Washington (11-1) finished the season with an eight-game winning streak. The Huskies rallied for eight victories this season, outscoring the opposition 144-68 in the fourth quarter during the regular season. Once again, they were dominant in the final 15 minutes.

The Huskies gave the Pac-10 its first Rose Bowl victory in five years and just its second in the last nine games. Washington was playing in its first Rose Bowl in eight years.

The Huskies started the fourth quarter with a 3-yard run by Rich Alexis on fourth-and-1 from the Purdue 35. Six plays later, Tuiasosopo threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Todd Elstrom, extending the lead to 10 points.

A little over a minute later, Greg Carothers forced and recovered a fumble by Montrell Lowe -- the game's first turnover -- at the Washington 34. Lowe, who gained 79 yards on 20 carries, was injured on the play and didn't return.

The Huskies then moved 66 yards on seven plays, scoring on an 8-yard run by Willie Hurst to make it 34-17 with 7:25 left.

The Boilermakers drew within 10 points on a 42-yard run by Sedrick Brown on a fourth-and-1 with 6:37 left, and got the ball back a little over a minute later when Tuiasosopo threw a lateral Elstrom couldn't handle at the end of a 26-yard run and Ashante Woodyard recovered at the Purdue 49.

However, Travis Dorsch was wide left on a 42-yard field goal with 4:54 to play, and the Huskies then ran out the clock. Tuiasosopo gained five yards on a fourth-and-1 play from the Washington 45 with a little less than three minutes left.

The Boilermakers (8-4), playing in their first Rose Bowl in 34 years and second ever, got off to a disastrous start, falling behind 14-0 before the game was 10 1/2 minutes old. They contributed to their problems by committing six first-quarter penalties.

But they would tie the game 17-all in the third quarter.

''I think their physical offensive line had a big hand in the game, and certainly, their quarterback is an exceptional player, without a doubt,'' Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. ''They did what they had to do to win the game.

''I thought our team had its moments. I liked the way we came back in the first half after digging ourselves a hole. Our offense underperformed. We did not put ourselves in position to win the game.''

No. 5 Oregon St. 41, No. 10 Notre Dame 9

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Oregon State's remarkable rise from pitiful to powerhouse is complete.

The brash, belligerent, fifth-ranked Beavers backed up their pregame boasts and then some Monday night in a 41-9 rout of Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

''We got our butt kicked,'' Notre Dame coach Bob Davie said. ''We got outcoached, we got outplayed.''

Oregon State, college football's laughingstock for more than a quarter-century, handed the 10th-ranked Fighting Irish their worst bowl defeat since a 40-6 loss to Nebraska in the 1973 Orange Bowl.

''What can you say?'' Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson said. ''We came out and played in all three phases about as well as we can play.''

Jonathan Smith, the 5-foot-10 former walk-on who was mistaken for the team manager when Erickson first saw him, completed 16 of 24 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns, then sat out the final quarter.

''Nerves played no part in it,'' Smith said. ''We were more excited than nervous, and we were clicking from the start.''

It was one of the most humiliating nights ever for college football's most storied program. Only a late touchdown against the Beavers' reserves prevented it from being the worst Notre Dame loss in 24 bowl appearances.

Had Oregon State (11-1) not committed a Fiesta Bowl and school record 18 penalties for 174 yards, it would have been even more one-sided as the plodding Irish (9-3) were no match for the speed of the hard-hitting Beavers.

''We had some dumb penalties,'' Erickson said, ''but we're a very aggressive football team. That's just how we play and just how we are.''

The Beavers, who in 1999 ended their NCAA-record streak of 28 consecutive losing seasons, had a 446-155 advantage in total yards and held Notre Dame to 17 yards rushing.

''If we can't run the football any more effectively than we did tonight, we have no chance,'' Davie said.

Oregon State linebacker Darnell Robinson, the defensive player of the game, forced a fumble and intercepted a pass to set up two touchdowns in the Beavers' 29-point third quarter.

''Their defense was on top of everything we were doing,'' Notre Dame running back Julius Jones said. ''It's kind of hard to execute when they're calling out the plays we're going to run.''

Chad Johnson caught touchdown passes of 74 and 4 yards, but he got away with a big mistake on the first one when officials didn't see him drop the ball two yards short of the goal line.

Ken Simonton, Oregon State's big-talking 5-foot-8 tailback, gained 85 yards on 18 carries, including a 4-yard touchdown run. In the process, he broke his own single-season school rushing record.

South Carolina 24, No. 19 Ohio St. 7

TAMPA, Fla. -- Ryan Brewer didn't fit the mold of an Ohio State tailback, so he wound up at South Carolina.

The Buckeyes' loss turned out to be the Gamecocks' gain in Monday's Outback Bowl.

Brewer gained 219 total yards and scored three touchdowns, pacing a 24-7 victory over Ohio State that capped a remarkable comeback for Lou Holtz and South Carolina. The Gamecocks, winless in 1999 and losers of 21 straight entering the season, finished the most dramatic one-year turnaround in Southeastern Conference history.

Brewer ran for 7,656 yards and scored 761 points as a prep star in Troy, Ohio, but wasn't recruited by Ohio State. On Monday, he rushed for 109 yards on 19 carries and scored on runs of 7 and 2 yards, as well as a 28-yard screen pass play.

''I never dreamed anything like this would happen,'' Brewer, the unlikely MVP said. ''My only thought was to go out there and play the best that I can.''

A wide receiver most of this season, Brewer was part of a platoon of runners Holtz used in place of Derek Watson, a 1,000-yard rusher the coach suspended for the game for violating a team rule.

The 5-10, 210-pound sophomore gained 66 yards rushing and caught 33 passes for 326 yards and one touchdown during the regular season.

''I said, 'You're not here to prove anything to anybody at Ohio State. You're here to help your teammates.' And that he certainly did,'' Holtz said. ''The longer the game went, the better he played.''

Like Brewer, Holtz grew up in Ohio and got a lot of satisfaction out of the victory. He beat Ohio State for the first time in five tries, improving his bowl record to 11-8-2 in a career that includes stops at William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota and Notre Dame.

No. 11 Kansas State 35, No. 21 Tennessee 21

DALLAS -- In his 25th and final start as the Kansas State quarterback, Jonathan Beasley gave Wildcats fans reason to remember him as more than the player who replaced Michael Bishop.

Beasley did a superb job running the option, gaining a career-best 98 yards and scoring a touchdown, throwing for two TDs and even pooching a quick-kick to the 4 as No. 11 Kansas State beat No. 21 Tennessee 35-21 in the Cotton Bowl Monday.

Beasley, who redshirted as a junior in 1998 when Bishop was a senior, ended his career 21-4 as a starter. While he didn't get the Wildcats to the heights Bishop did, Beasley continued Kansas State's growing status as a perennial power.

And, in his finale, Beasley accomplished something Bishop didn't, becoming the first quarterback in school history to win two bowl games. He also helped the seniors become the second group in NCAA history to win 11 games four straight years.

No. 6 Virginia Tech 41, No. 16 Clemson 20

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If the Gator Bowl was the final game of quarterback Michael Vick's career at Virginia Tech, he went out a winner.

Vick threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and Lee Suggs ran for three scores Monday as the sixth-ranked Hokies beat No. 16 Clemson 41-20.

''It felt like the old me out there,'' Vick said after passing for 205 yards, running for 19 and being named the game's most valuable player.

''My ankle was 100 percent and so I was able to play my best.''

The sophomore quarterback, who is still trying to decide whether to return to the Hokies next season or turn pro, said he'll use the time between now and the Jan. 12 deadline to consider his options.

''I haven't set a timeline,'' he said. ''I realize I have a couple of days to think about some things and make my decision, what I'm going to do. I'm going to take advantage of those next six or seven days.''

Coach Frank Beamer said he and Vick plan to find out more about his situation, then meet. He also said he wants to look into other ways to secure Vick's future without having him turn pro before he's ready.

Vick certainly was ready for the Tigers.

In a game billed as a quarterback duel between Vick and the Tigers' Woody Dantzler, both made plenty of dazzling plays, but Vick's response to an early mistake by the Tigers got the Hokies off to a fast start.

After failing to make a first down on the opening series, Tigers punter Jamie Somaini couldn't handle a bouncing snap. He finally gained control and tried to run, but was tackled for an 8-yard loss at his 23.

On the first play, Vick hit a wide open Jarrett Ferguson with a bullet down the middle, giving the Hokies a 7-0 lead after just 1:37.

''Any time you're in a big game like that, it's imperative that you get off to a good start,'' Hokies tailback Andre Kendrick said. ''We got a lucky break and we capitalized. It set the tone for the rest of the day.''

Dantzler, compared to Vick all season, passed for 180 yards and a touchdown, ran for 81 yards and was hammered repeatedly before leaving after the third quarter. Willie Simmons finished and was hit hard too.

No. 17 Michigan 31, No. 20 Auburn 28

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Michigan has been spoiled rotten with its big-play receiver, dominating running back and efficiency expert quarterback.

The Wolverines' Big Three were at it again in Monday's Citrus Bowl, possibly for the last time.

Anthony Thomas ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns and Drew Henson passed for two TDs as the 17th-ranked Wolverines held on for a 31-28 victory over No. 20 Auburn on Monday.

David Terrell caught four passes for 136 yards, including a 31-yard TD, to become the first Michigan receiver to pass 1,000 yards twice.

''There's a lot of talent between the three of them,'' Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. ''You have to be able to stop one of the three of them to have a chance to win.''

Auburn was 0-for-3 on that count, and tailback Rudi Johnson was held to 85 yards on 25 carries. Johnson, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, had been held under 100 yards only two other times, both losses.

Henson was 15-of-20 for 294 yards for Michigan (9-3), which has won bowls in four straight years for the first time. The Wolverines were seven points away from an undefeated season.

It was definitely the last game for Thomas, a senior who became Michigan's leading career rusher and scorer. Terrell and Henson are juniors who have talked about leaving for the NFL or, in Henson's case, possibly professional baseball.

Henson is a top prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

''As a quarterback, it's everything you could ask for: a running back that can block and playmakers on the outside,'' said Henson, who was sacked five times. ''It's nice to go week to week knowing we had those weapons.''

The anticipated duel between Thomas and Johnson instead became a showdown with Tigers quarterback Ben Leard.

Down 31-21, Auburn (9-4) stayed alive when Leard hit a leaping Deandre Green with a 21-yard touchdown pass with 2:26 left. Leard was 5-of-5 for 77 yards on the drive, which covered 89 yards in six plays and 87 seconds.

Mississippi St. 43, Texas A&M 41, OT

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Not until he was crushed under a pile of teammates in the snow did Wayne Madkin know he had won the game.

Madkin scored on a 6-yard scramble to give Mississippi State a 43-41 overtime victory over Texas A&M on Sunday night in the Independence Bowl.

''I broke contain ... I had a guy coming at me and I was trying to stretch it as far as I could,'' said the junior quarterback from Huntsville, Ala., who said he had never played in snow before.

''I knew when all these guys jumped up on me and I couldn't breath that I got in the end zone.''

It was the first meeting between Texas A&M and Mississippi State since former Aggies coach Jackie Sherrill took over the Bulldogs in 1991.

''Considering everything, it's a big, big win,'' said Sherrill, who dodged questions about his history at Texas A&M.

Ja'Mar Toombs had a 25-yard touchdown run on the Aggies' first play of overtime to give Texas A&M a 41-35 lead, but Terence Kitchen's extra-point attempt was blocked by Willie Blade.

Eugene Clinton scooped the blocked kick out of the snow and before he could be pulled down at midfield, he flipped the ball back to Julius Griffith who raced to the end zone for a 2-point defensive conversion. That made the score 41-37 and gave the Bulldogs a chance to win it with a TD.

''I've been coming close all year,'' Blade said of his key block.

Air Force 37, Fresno St. 34

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- It was the perfect play, if only it had worked.

Trailing Air Force 37-34 with 14 seconds left, Fresno State faked a field goal. The Falcons weren't expecting it, and two Bulldogs players were wide open in the end zone.

But holder Jason Simpson's pass to Giachino Chiaramonte fell incomplete and Air Force won the inaugural Silicon Valley Classic on Sunday.

''I thought they would go for the tie, I was positive,'' Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said. ''I thought that they would carry their momentum into an overtime situation and that the only chance we had was to put every guy we had to getting that kick blocked.''

Fresno State had practiced the fake, knowing Air Force's kick-blocking abilities. The Falcons had put two jumpers -- linebackers Corey Nelson and Kevin Runyon -- in the middle.

''If they would have had one jumper in the middle, we would have gone for overtime,'' Fresno State coach Pat Hill said. ''So that was the decision we made and I have no second thoughts about it.''

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