Work in Sports
SEATTLE (Ticker) -- After a slow start, Washington got rolling in a big way.
Marques Tuiasosopo passed for one touchdown and ran for another score as the 15th-ranked Huskies overcame a sluggish start and cruised to a 44-20 victory over Idaho.
One of the most exciting quarterbacks in the nation, Tuiasosopo threw a 32-yard touchdown pass and ran 21 yards for a TD in the second quarter to begin a stretch of 20 consecutive unanswered points.
Against Stanford last season, Tuiasosopo became the first Division I-A quarterback in history to pass for at least 300 yards and rush for 200 in the same game. He did not come near those numbers today, completing 16-of-30 passes for 223 yards while rushing for 80 yards on 15 attempts.
"(The receivers) came out and did a great job," Tuiasosopo said. "Todd Elstrom made some great catches. The couple plays we didn't make, that was my fault. We had guys wide open and I didn't hit them. I'm happy for those guys. They were a question mark but they stuck together and worked hard and I think it showed today."
Washington (1-0) improved to 32-2 all-time against Idaho, including 28-0-2 in Seattle. The Huskies have not lost to the Vandals since 1905.
Washington, which hosts Miami next week, held a 474-401 advantage in total yards and was aided by six Idaho turnovers.
Idaho shocked Washington on the game's first play from scrimmage when Willie Alderson ran 82 yards for a touchdown. Alderson finished with 140 yards on 18 attempts.
"We thought we would come out and try to set the temp with them," Idaho coach Tom Cable said. "We felt like if we didn't make a statement by trying to be physical right in the beginning, they would see that. It was really a great thing, we blocked well and Willie (Alderson) made a great cut and outran everybody."
Washington flexed its muscles early in the second quarter, going 98 yards in five plays. Tuiasosopo capped that long drive with a 32-yard TD pass to Todd Elstrom that tied the contest. Elstrom was the favorite target of the day with six receptions for a career-high 104 yards.
"It was just a simple post route and I was fortunate to get inside of the man and get good position," Elstrom said. "Marques threw a ball up there that I could get good position on and I brought it down."
It did not take long for Washington to take the lead. On the Vandals' next possession, safety Hakim Akbar intercepted Jeff Welsh. Two plays later, Tuiasosopo scored on his 21-yard run to give Washington a 13-7 lead.
That was one of the few mistakes that Welsh made. He completed 23-of-29 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He threw one other interception.
"We stopped Washington good on defense," Welsh said. "I thought we were in it until the second half. I became much more comfortable as the first half went on. I had a lot of time to pass. I leave this game knowing we competed hard. We are on a mission for the rest of the season to win."
Another defensive play helped the Huskies extend the lead. Junior linebacker Ben Mahdavi scooped up a fumble and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown with 7:46 left before intermission.
With 1:33 left until halftime, the Vandals closed to within 20-13 on Welsh's 22-yard TD pass to Chris Belser.
Washington took the opening kickoff of the second half and embarked on a 10-play, 84-yard drive that covered 4 1/2 minutes. Senior running back Pat Conniff capped that drive with an eight-yard TD run.
Following a fumble by the Vandals, the Huskies extended the lead to 34-13 just 19 seconds later on Derrick Johnson's 22-yard run.
Idaho moved no closer than 14 points thereafter.