Work in Sports
SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Marques Tuiasosopo threw for two touchdowns and Rich Alexis ran for two scores as ninth-ranked Washington scored 23 points in the fourth quarter and escaped with a 36-24 Pac-10 Conference win over California.
Tuiasosopo completed 19-of-35 passes for 225 yards and became Washington's all-time leader in total offense. Tuiasosopo, who entered the game 29 yards behind the school-record of 5,814 held by current Miami Dolphins signalcaller Damon Huard, also rushed for 25 yards on 13 carries.
Washington (6-1, 3-1 Pac-10), which defeated California for the 18th straight time, trailed 24-13 when John Anderson kicked a 29-yard field goal 4:25 into the fourth quarter.
"I'm really proud of my team," Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said. "The way they battled, the way they refused to say die. I think there are a lot of teams in the United States that would have thrown in the towel or at least psychologically felt like things were going to be tough. But on our sideline it wasn't like that at all. They turned it up a notch."
On California's next possession, cornerback Omare Lowe intercepted a pass by Kyle Boller and had a seven-yard return to the Golden Bears 31. Four plays later, Tuiasosopo completed a 10-yard scoring pass to Jerramy Stevens to cut the deficit to 24-22 with 6:49 left after the two-point conversion pass failed.
After the kickoff, Washington safety Hakim Akbar recovered a fumble by running back Joe Igber at the California 16 to set up the go-ahead score. On first down, Alexis took a pitchout from Tuiasosopo and sprinted 16 yards up the left sideline to make it 26-24 with 6:24 to play.
California's offense sputtered again as Boller threw three straight incompletions. On fourth down, Owen Biddle blocked a punt and had a 27-yard return to the California 9. One play later, Tuiasosopo threw a seven-yard pass to Todd Elstrom to complete the scoring with 4:26 remaining.
"We don't like to make it this dramatic, but you can't control that," Tuiasosopo said. "We were fortunate to make some plays in the fourth quarter. Cal's defense played well and we had to be patient and wait for something to turn our way. We finally got a turnover and the mometum started to go our way and we were ablee to take advanatge of that."
Boller was 14-of-32 for 215 yards and a touchdown for California (2-5, 1-3), which pulled off a 46-38 triple-overtime victory over then-No. 15 UCLA last week. Boller also had a 15-yard TD run that gave California a 24-13 advantage with 2:07 to play in the third quarter.
"You can't turn over the ball so much in one quarter," Boller said. "They're a good football team. We made mistakes as a team. We gave them the game."
Boller gave the Golden Bears a 7-0 lead with a 24-yard pass to Geoff McArthur with just under five minutes left in the first quarter.
"We are very disappointed," California coach Tom Holmoe said.
"We played a very good game for a very long time and just couldn't put it all together."
The Huskies tied the game when Alexis capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive with a one-yard run three seconds into the second quarter.
On Washington's next possession Alexis fumbled and linebacker John Klotsche raced 34 yards to give the Golden Bears a 14-7 lead.
"I felt that I had to get something back for my team after the fumble," Alexis said. "It was my first of the year, but you never want to fumble. Once I got the ball back all I wanted to do was something positive and my touchdown was for the whole team."
Washington closed within 14-10 when John Anderson kicked a 42-yard field goal 20 seconds before halftime. Anderson kicked a 21-yard field to cut the deficit to 14-13 with 9:50 left in the third.
Mark-Christian Jensen, who kicked a career-high 37-yard field goal in last week's win, booted a 28-yard field goal to give the Bears a 17-13 lead with 6:18 left in the third.