Work in Sports
SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Willie Hurst made sure it was Washington, and not Arizona, which would answer with the dazzling runs.
Hurst had a pair of highlight-reel TD runs and quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo went in from two yards out with 1:10 remaining as seventh-ranked Washington scored 22 points in the final quarter for a 35-32 win in the Pac-10 Conference.
The Huskies (8-1, 5-1 Pac-10), won their fifth straight game and kept alive their Rose Bowl hopes. Washington trails undefeated Oregon, which defeated Washington State today, by one game and the needs the Ducks to lose to get to Pasadena on New Year's Day.
It was an emotional victory for the Huskies after Curtis Williams suffered a spinal injury last Saturday against Stanford.
"Anytime one of your own is put into a situation like Curtis Williams finds himself in, it's difficult to predict what exactly is going to be the response of your team," Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said. "The emotion was really high in today's game."
Trailing 25-13 after three quarters, Hurst took a pitch from Tuiasosopo and raced up the sideline, turning a Wildcat defender around before reaching the end zone 4:08 into the final period.
Less than 2 1/2 minutes later, Hurst scored on a 23-yard run, almost getting knocked off his feet but keeping his balance with his hand and spinning toward the end zone. A two-point conversion run by Hurst, who had eight carries for 116 yards, gave the Huskies a 28-25 lead.
"Arizona has a very difficult scheme to run against," Hurst said. "It took us a while to feel them out and get a body on a body, but once we did we were blasting on all cylinders."
But Arizona would answer with a 51-yard TD run by Leo Mills to take its final lead at 32-28.
Washington responded with an 11-play, 67-yard touchdown drive of its own, capped by Tuiasossopo's second TD run. The key play in the drive was a 25-yard pass from Tuiasosopo to Todd Elstrom.
The victory, however, was not assured until the Huskies blocked a 51-yard field goal attempt by Sean Keel on the final play of the game.
Moving the Wildcats into position for the field goal attempt was Ortege Jenkins, who engineered an upset on his last visit to Seattle in 1998. His miraculous nine-yard touchdown run with four seconds left culminated with him flipping over three defenders into the end zone.
Jenkins was not nearly as effective today, completing 13-of-33 passes for 208 yards.
Mills carried 29 times for 185 yards for Arizona (5-4, 3-3), which suffered close losses to Oregon and UCLA in its last two games.
"It was a heartbreaking loss," Arizona coach Dikc Tomey said.
"We'll have our day. I think they have given everything they've got and they're doing everything they can do and we're just not quite getting it done."
The Wildcats jumped to an early 9-0 lead on a 36-yard field goal by Keel and a 10-yard TD run by Mills that was followed by a missed conversion. Late in the first quarter, Tuiasosospo scored on a one-yard run.
Tuiasosopo was 17-of-34 for 196 yards and rushed 12 times for 53 yards.
The Wildcats' Mike Detwiler scored on a four-yard run to increase the lead to nine points before a 39-yard field goal by John Anderson cut it to 16-10 at halftime.
Arizona's lead swelled to 25-13 in the third quarter on a 60-yard punt return for a score by Bobby Wade and a 38-yard field goal by Keel. Anderson cut the deficit to 12 points after three quarters with a 38-yard field goal.
Jerramy Stevens of Washington caught eight passed for 93 yards.