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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 1, 2011 at 8:37 AM

UW’s Top 10 performances of the Pac-10 Era

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The Pac-10 is officially no more as of today, and we’ll conclude our weeklong review of some of UW’s top players and moments of that era with a look at some top individual performances.

Not that I really needed reminding of the passion college football fans have for their teams, but doing this series has made sure I won’t forget it as I’ve gotten a lot of strong responses to some of the lists here (that’s a good thing, by the way).

Here’s another one, though, where I think the top of the list is hard to dispute — Marques Tuiasosopo’s 300-200 game against Stanford in 1999 (pictured above), when he passed for 302 yards and rushed for 207 as the Huskies beat the Cardinal 35-30.

But as has been the case with all of these lists, there are lots of good candidates, so here we go (and it’s worth another reminder that these lists covers the time from 1978 to 2010, so the 1977 team that won the 1978 Rose Bowl, and any season prior to that, does not qualify):

1, Marques Tuiasosopo’s “300-200” game against Stanford in 1999: Tuiasosopo’s 509 yards of total offense remain a school record, and it was all the more remarkable considering the, uh, backside injury he suffered early in the game. The win put UW momentarily in the driver’s seat for the Rose Bowl, but with Tui still ailing the Huskies lost a couple of weeks later at UCLA. Here’s a story I wrote last fall with some more details on that game.

2, Steve Emtman vs. Arizona in 1991: To many, the first two plays of this game — when Emtman sacked Arizona QB George Malauluu for losses each time to set the tone for an eventual 54-0 win — are a defining moment for the dominance of the 1991 defense. Emtman had lots of standout plays during his time at UW, but to many I’ve talked to, this sequence is the one that resonates most. Here’s a story from a few years ago with some thoughts on that one.

3, Corey Dillon vs. San Jose State 1996: Dillon set an NCAA record with 305 yards in the first quarter — 222 rushing and 83 more receiving when he took a short pass from Brock Huard and went the distance. Dillon called it a day after that quarter, having done all the work that was needed. Dillon’s rushing total remains the 10th-best in UW history.

4, Offensive line vs. Nebraska in 1991: Linemen always get short shrift on lists like this if for no other reason than they are basically left out of the record books, with no real stats kept for their positions. But a win that may have been the most pivotal on the way to the national title was forged in large part to the dominance up front of an offensive line that paved the way for an astonishing 618 total yards, 335 on the ground — more than Nebraska’s total offense of 308.

5, Mark Stewart vs. UCLA, 1982: The early part of the decade for UW was defined by defense and special teams, and linebacker Stewart’s game may be the one that’s most recalled as he had 15 tackles, including five sacks, as the Huskies beat the Bruins 10-7 at Husky Stadium in what appeared to be a showdown for the Rose Bowl, earning national player of the week honors from Sports Illustrated. Alas, UW was upset by WSU two weeks later and UCLA went to the Rose Bowl anyway, though that doesn’t dim the memory of Stewart’s game.

6, Cody Pickett vs. Arizona, 2001: Pickett had missed the previous week’s game against UCLA with a shoulder injury and it was uncertain until game time if he would start. But Pickett shrugged it off to pass for a school-record 455 yards, which remains to this day, and run for the winning TD on a fourth down in the final minute of a 31-28 Husky victory.

7, Chris Polk vs. Washington State, 2010: In a game the Huskies had to win to clinch a .500 record and a bowl game, Polk literally carried the team to victory with 284 yards, the second-most in school history, ripping off big run after big run every time the Cougars threatened.

8, Reggie Williams vs. Oregon, 2002: If a receiver can be dominant, Williams was against the Ducks in Eugene, catching three touchdown passes and 198 yards overall as the Huskies rallied from an early 14-0 deficit to win 42-14 in a driving rainstorm in Eugene. His 14 receptions that day remains second in school history, and most by a receivver (record is 15 by running back Braxton Cleman against USC in 1998).

9, Charles Frederick vs. Oregon State, 2003: The mercurial did it all against the Beavers in Corvallis, setting a school all-purpose record with 371 yards, including a TD grab of 87 yards and a punt return of 86.

10, Jake Locker vs. Cal, 2009: This was the game that really put Locker on the map as a potential No. 1 overall pick as he completed 19-23 passes, third-best in school history, and threw for three touchdowns while running for two more as the Huskies beat Cal 42-10 to cap the first year of the Steve Sarkisian era.

JUST MISSED THE CUT: Rashaan Shehee, Apple Cup, 1995 (212 yards rushing); Steve Pelluer, Michigan, 1983 (27-33 passing, led Huskies to late win); John Anderson, WSU, 2002 (hit 5-8 field goals, three in overtime, to lift UW to win); Reggie Williams, Apple Cup 2001 (pretty similar performance to 2002’s Oregon game); Jerry Jensen, Arizona State, 1997 (LB had six tackles for a loss, tied for a school record, in a dominating win against the team that had won the conference the year before); Dave Hoffmann, USC, 1991 (five tackles-for-a-loss in win in LA); Napoleon Kaufman, Ohio State, 1994 (rushed for 211 yards against Buckeyes at home to surge into a momentary lead for the Heisman); Louis Rankin, Stanford, 2007 (rushed for 255 yards, fifth-best in school history); Dillon, Oregon, 1996 (in a season of highlights, this is the other that stands out for Dillon as he rushed for 259 yards against the Ducks); Tim Cowan, Aloha Bowl, 1982 (passed for 350 yards in win over Maryland); Jacque Robinson, 1982 Rose Bowl (was named MVP); Mark Brunell 1991 Rose Bowl (named MVP); Ron Holmes, Navy, 1983 (five tackles-for-a-loss).

And as always, I’m sure there are lots of others that fans remember that I’ve missed here, so feel free to nominate some of your favorites in the comments section.

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