Northwest NEWS

November 1, 1999

Front Page

Tuiasosopo runs, passes for national record

Marques Tuiasosopo

Marques Tuiasosopo breaks a tackle to gain some of his 207 yards rushing Saturday, while setting a national record for single game total offense of 509 yards.
Photo by Russ Paris.

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--With Woodinville Weekly sports writer Russ Paris watching from the sidelines, WHS grad Marques Tuiasosopo boldly went where no college football player has ever gone before--into the stratosphere of the NCAA record book--when he passed for 302 yards and ran for 207 yards against Stanford in Husky stadium last Saturday.

   Tuiasosopo's 509 yards broke the school record of 417 yards total offense set by Cary Conklin in 1989. His 207 yards rushing was the 12th highest total in Husky history. He became the first Husky quarterback to pass for 300 yards in consecutive games since Sonny Sixkiller in 1970. During that span, the Huskies have sent 10 quarterbacks to the NFL. With three games to go, Tuiasosopo needs 285 yards to break Conklin's school record of 2,502 yards total offense for one season.

   Tuiasosopo rallied his team from another improbable comeback, in what has become his modus operandi--giving opponents early leads from interceptions and fumbles--apparently to make other teams overconfident before ramming defeat down their throats.

   After having his butt slammed hard (literally) on the artificial turf on the game's second play--a trauma that would put most players on the bench--the brilliant junior drove his team back from deficits of 14-3 and 23-12, after giving up two interceptions to Stanford safety Tim Smith (a former quarterback). Anthony Vontoure helped cover Marques' stiffening backside--an injury which NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts said must have affected his throwing--by intercepting two Stanford passes.

   Tuiasosopo engineered a 99-yard, third-quarter drive that he finished off with a 30-yard touchdown run. Then he put the Huskies in the lead for the first time, 28-23, when he faked to former Falcon fullback Pat Coniff, then followed him on a 10-yard scamper into the end zone, capping a 72-yard, fourth-quarter drive. He also threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Gerald Harris in the second quarter.

   "He is a courageous player, a genuine warrior," head coach Rick Neuheisel said about Tuiasosopo's performance.

   A 48-yard touchdown run by Maurice Shaw put the Huskies up 35-23 with 1:30 left. Stanford regained a little of the spark that had them pulverizing the Husky defense in the first half, to score with no time left, for a final score of 35-30.

   When the coaches handed Tuiasosopo the game ball in the locker room, in typical "Marques fashion," he immediately handed the ball to his offensive line.

   The Huskies, who have relied on their defense for most of the year, rolled up 670 yards of total offense, most of those in the second half. That was the most since 670 yards against Washington State in 1950. They also tied the school record of 33 first downs, set against Idaho in 1956.

   The win, coupled with Arizona State's 20-17 loss to Oregon, puts the Huskies in control of their own Rose Bowl destiny. To play for the roses, they probably need to win all three remaining games: at Arizona and UCLA, and against the Cougars in Husky Stadium.

Information provided by Russ Paris was used in this article.