Mark Brunell's flu was of the brief variety. Greg Lewis' knee looked at least 100 percent healthy.
With those two leading the way offensively and Washington's special teams and defense coming up with some big plays, the eighth-ranked Huskies disposed of No. 17 Iowa 46-34 Tuesday in a Rose Bowl game that wasn't as close as the final score might indicate.The Huskies (10-2) built a 33-7 halftime lead, then the Hawkeyes made the score respectable late in the contest, mop-up time in what had been a one-sided game.
Washington's lead never seemed in serious jeopardy.
Brunell, a left-handed sophomore, threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more.
"I had the flu earlier this week," Brunell said. "But it was just the 24-hour kind."
"He had a great year," Washington coach Don James said of Brunell. "You could see a little of his speed and what's it's done for us all year."
Lewis, who missed the Huskies' regular-season finale with a knee injury, rushed for 128 yards on 19 carries against Iowa.
"I did everything but score a touchdown," Lewis said after topping 100 yards for the 10th time this season.
"The fullbacks led the way and I was able to have a good game. My knee started feeling good five days ago. I just knew I would be ready to go."
"Greg has said for the last week that he was 100 percent," James said. "I thought he would be 90 percent. He proved to me that he was right."
Although they gave up 34 points, the Washington defenders actually played well.
"I wasn't disappointed that we gave up 34 points because we had 46," said cornerback Charles Mincy, who returned one interception 37 yards for a touchdown and set up another score with a second interception.
The Huskies got one touchdown from their punt return unit, as Andy Mason broke through to block an Iowa punt and Dana Hall scooped up the ball to run 27 yards for a score.
Brunell, voted the player of the game, said as he held the trophy, "I'm going to cherish this award."
A Rose Bowl MVP from the past, Bob Schloredt, presented the trophy to Brunell. Schloredt was the Washington quarterback in Rose Bowl victories over Wisconsin in 1960 and Minnesota in 1961, winning the MVP trophy both years.
He said Brunell might pass him up.
"Mark's just a sophomore and he has the opportunity to win two more of these," Schloredt said.
Brunell completed 14 of 22 passes for 163 yards with one interception and rushed 10 times for 28 yards. He scored on runs of 5 and 20 yards and threw touchdown passes of 22 and 31 yards to Mario Bailey.
"It was a great game," Brunell said. "Iowa was a great opponent. They didn't let up for four quarters. You have to give them a lot of credit for fighting back like that."
Iowa, going to trick plays and onsides kicks in a desperate rally in the fourth quarter, scored 20 points, once after recovering one of three onside kicks.