The following week former Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel led his Huskies to Boulder, Colorado to face his former team. The Huskies celebrated their coach's homecoming with a 17–14 victory. Oregon spoiled Washington's hopes for a perfect season with a 23–16 setback but the Huskies responded the next week with a dramatic 33–30 victory over eventual Fiesta Bowl champion Oregon State. The following five weeks saw the Huskies have to battle back from second half deficits in every game, including a 31–28 win over Stanford that was marked with tragedy. Safety Curtis Williams was paralyzed after a neck injury during the game. For the remainder of the season, players and coaches wore the letters "CW" on helmets and uniforms in honor of him. After several second half comebacks, Washington was finally able to win a game easily with a 51–3 victory over Washington State in the Apple Cup setting a record for largest margin of victory in the series. With the win over the Cougars, paired with an Oregon State win over Oregon, the Huskies were headed to the Rose Bowl. Marques Tuiasosopo earned Rose Bowl MVP honors as he led Washington to a 34–24 win over Purdue and Drew Brees. The Huskies finished ranked #3 in the polls.