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UM must wait for return to splendor

No. 15 Washington opens big lead, hangs on to deflate No. 4 Hurricanes 34-29.

Some Miami players mocked Washington before Saturday's game by barking like dogs. The Huskies got in last bark.

"They were yelping a bit in the tunnel," Washington tight end Jerramy Stevens said. "They found out who the real dogs were."

Marques Tuiasosopo passed for a touchdown and ran for another, and freshman Rich Alexis scored on a 50-yard run as No. 15 Washington beat No. 4 Miami 34-29.

The Huskies spoiled Miami's first trip to Husky Stadium. In the schools' first meeting in 1994 at the Orange Bowl, Washington ended the Hurricanes' NCAA record 58-game home winning streak.

"That was a big-time win against one of the best teams in the nation," Tuiasosopo said.

"We want to get Washington back to the glory days," Huskies linebacker Jafar Williams said. "Today proves to us that we're on our way back."

Washington (2-0) led 21-3 at halftime and took a 34-22 lead on the second play of the fourth quarter on Pat Conniff's 1-yard touchdown plunge.

But the Hurricanes (1-1), taking advantage of Tuiasosopo's second interception of the fourth quarter and third turnover of the second half, scored on James Jackson's 1-yard run with 2:52 to go to get to within 34-29.

On third-and-12 at the Washington 10, Tuiasosopo was intercepted by Al Blades, giving the Hurricanes the ball at the 8.

"There's still a lot of things I can do better," Tuiasosopo said. "I need to throw the ball away more often. It was a fun game, but there was a little heartache at the end."

After Jackson's second touchdown, Todd Sievers' onside kick was recovered by Stevens at the Miami 45 with 2:49 left. The Huskies couldn't get a first down, but they ran the clock down to 20 seconds.

The Hurricanes took over at the 20 after a touchback. Ken Dorsey misfired on his first two pass attempts before throwing 42 yards to Reggie Wayne on the last play the game.

Some of the Hurricanes players talked about being good enough to win the school's fifth national title and first since 1991 before the game.

After the game, coach Butch Davis denied his players ever talked about that.

"We never talked about the national championship," Davis said. "That's always media conversation."

The Huskies had themselves to blame that the game was so close at the end.

After holding Miami without a touchdown in the first half, they gave up three in the third quarter.

After Ryan Fleming shanked a punt for 9 yards, Miami took over on the Washington 30. The Hurricanes scored their first touchdown seven plays later on a 21-yard pass from Dorsey to Wayne.

But Alexis, who is from Broward County, took a pitchout from Tuiasosopo and scored on his 50-yard run down the left sideline to give the Huskies a 27-9 lead with 6:10 left in the third quarter.

A 61-yard run by Clinton Portis set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Najeh Davenport on the Hurricanes' next possession to cut Washington's lead to 27-15.

A fumble by Tuiasosopo that was recovered by Dan Morgan at the Washington 8 led to Miami's third touchdown of the quarter.

Jackson scored on the next play as the Hurricanes got within 27-22 with 3:50 left in the third.

Washington then put together a 13-play, 65-yard drive, with Conniff scoring on a 1-yard run 30 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Despite his turnovers in the second half, Tuiasosopo was the star of the game. He completed 18 of 31 passes for 223 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. In addition, he gained 45 yards and scored a touchdown on 15 carries.

Dorsey was 15-for-34 for 215 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.

"The reason we lost the game was us," Dorsey said. "They didn't beat us."