The Washington Huskies did something Saturday that no team had done since 1985.
Washington scored 22 points in the first five minutes of the second half and rolled past Miami, 38-20, ending the Hurricanes' NCAA record 58-game winning streak at home.
"As you grow up, you recognize UM as one of the finest programs in the country," Washington fullback Richard Thomas said. "If you don't dream about playing here, you dream about beating them."
The Huskies' onslaught began when Thomas caught a screen pass and turned it into a 75-yard score. Touchdowns on Russell Hairston's 34-yard interception return and Robert Sapp's fumble recovery quickly followed.
The sequence, which stunned a crowd of 62,663, erased Miami's 14-3 halftime lead and left the Huskies in command, 25-14.
When the Hurricanes fell behind, they faded. Washington outscored them, 35-6, in the second half and finished with a 12-minute advantage in time of possession.
"I'm really sort of sick," Miami Coach Dennis Erickson said. "I've never been around a game like that, what happened in the second half.
"At the end of the half, I thought we had control of the game. In the second half they dominated the game physically."
No. 17 Washington, a two-touchdown underdog in the matchup of 1991 co-national champions, improved to 2-1. No. 6 Miami is also 2-1.
"How big of a win? Just huge," Washington Coach Jim Lambright said.
"I feel great now, but I'm sure that 10 years from now I'll feel even better," said Washington's Damon Huard, who passed for 217 yards. "It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
The Hurricanes' loss was their first game at home since Sept. 7, 1985, when Florida beat them, 35-23. Current and former players involved in the streak maintain a close relationship, and former Miami defensive lineman Mark Caesar was crying on the sideline after the game.
"I'm ashamed," Miami receiver Chris T. Jones said. "I'll have to look the former 'Canes and coaches in the eye and know that my class is known as the class that lost the streak. I'll have to live with that."
Miami's final victory in the streak--against Georgia Southern three weeks ago--broke the record of 57 home victories set by Alabama.
"I guess everything can't go on forever," said Miami's Frank Costa, who passed for 261 yards but also threw two interceptions. "I hate to be the team to lose it. I didn't want to be here when it ended. It really hurts a lot."
Miami lost despite holding running back Napoleon Kaufman in check. The Huskies' senior tailback gained 80 yards in 28 carries and broke Joe Steele's school record for career rushing yards with 3,094.
"They were talking," Kaufman said of the Hurricanes. "They were saying, 'You're not going to get the Heisman against us.' But that's not what it's all about. We won."
Miami gave up no touchdowns in the first 2 1/2 games of the season before Washington struck three times in rapid succession.
On the second play of the third quarter, Thomas took a screen pass from Huard, broke one tackle and went up the middle of the field to score.
"I felt like a swimmer out there," Thomas said. "Every third stroke, I was looking back."
Huard passed to Dave Janoski for a two-point conversion, trimming Miami's lead to 14-11.
Washington went ahead, 18-14, three plays later on cornerback Hairston's 34-yard interception return. Costa's third-down pass was intended for Jammi German, who slipped and fell before the ball arrived, and Hairston--burned earlier for Miami's touchdown--went untouched down the sideline to score.
"The ball was in the air when Jammi fell," Costa said. "There's nobody to blame. It's a funny game. Anybody can beat anybody with plays like that."
German fumbled the ensuing kickoff when hit by Tony Parrish, and Washington's Jerry Jensen recovered. Six plays later, Huard fumbled at the two on third down, but the ball rolled into the end zone and Sapp--a 280-pound tackle--recovered for another touchdown.
"Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong," Erickson said. "It seemed like everything was snowballing."
Only 4:45 had elapsed in the third quarter.
The Hurricanes mounted two long drives in a bid to come back but had to settle for field goals. Dane Prewitt hit from 19, 38, 38 and 25 yards for Miami.
Washington's John Wales made field goals of 47, 29 and 42 yards.
Huard dived into the end zone to score the clincher on a seven-yard run with three minutes left.
"That was the icing on the cake," Huard said. "I could have laid there forever. Dig a grave. It's the greatest feeling I've ever had in my life."
Said Lambright: "We got stronger and stronger. The wonderful thing is that we were playing a team of this caliber, and it didn't come down to the last second."
The Huskies blitzed Costa relentlessly, and he burned the gambling defense for a big play only once. That was a 51-yard scoring pass play to Yatil Green with 13 seconds left in the half.
Costa then went to German for a two-point conversion to give Miami its 14-3 lead.