In the Trenches with Zach Tuiasosopo

Sept. 9, 2004

Husky fans have seen this before -- 'Tuiasosopo sprints through the line and has open field to the end zone! Thirty, twenty-five, ten ... !'It's a familiar strain for KJR play-by-play man Bob Rondeau -- what's strange, however, is to see a fullback mostly known for his blocking abilities sprinting past opposing defensive backs on his way downfield, instead of a quarterback with evasive moves and speed to burn. That was the sight Sunday, however, at Husky Stadium, as senior fullback Zach Tuiasosopo -- not his quarterback brother, Marques -- dashed through a gaping hole at midfield and scampered 50 yards before being caught from behind just short of the Fresno State end zone. After entering UW as a linebacker, Tuiasosopo has found a home at fullback, where he is listed by many preseason magazines as one of the top players in the country. If the season-opener is any indiciation -- 98 total yards on two carries and five receptions, including the 50-yard scamper -- the senior co-captain could be headed for his biggest season to date. correspondent Jesse Hulsing managed to slow the Husky fullback down long enough to ask some probing questions about the Huskies' 2004 season, and Tuiasosopo's role in the offense. You broke for a pretty big play in the second quarter against Fresno State. What was going through your mind at the time?
Tuiasosopo: 'Don't get caught! That was probably the first thing, but I ended up getting caught. It was fun, though. It was a great call and the offensive line nailed it up front.'

GH: What is your favorite thing to do on the field -- Run, catch, or block?
Tuiasosopo: 'Anything, pretty much -- no matter what you do, it's all fun.'

GH: How do you think your team confidence is after the loss to Fresno State?
Tuiasosopo: 'Our team confidence has not been diminished at all. If it's diminished, then why are we playing? Our team has the confidence to bounce back and respond to this adversity.'

GH: How important do you think home openers are?
Tuiasosopo: 'They are important; they kind of set the tone for the season. Even though it was a loss, we still played hard. I think we have things we can build on. That is what season openers are for, they help you find out where you are as a team and you build from there. Now we know what we need to work on.'

GH: What do you think you need to work on the most?
Tuiasosopo: 'The little things, finishing plays. There is nothing really major -- our defense is playing great and our offense moves the ball. We just need to finish. We started so fast but didn't finish the same way.'

GH: What are your team goals for this year, what do you want to 'bounce back' to?
Tuiasosopo: 'Our goal this year is to go 1-0 every week, which means we are going to concentrate on one game and one game only. At the end of the season we'll see what happens, but as long as we focus on the game at hand we should be okay.'

GH: Are you looking forward to UCLA?
Tuiasosopo: 'Oh yeah!'

GH: What do you need to accomplish against the Bruins?
Tuiasosopo: 'I don't think its going to be any different than any other game. We haven't beaten UCLA since 2000, which says a lot about how tough they play us. As long as we come out and play to the ability that we can play, we have a good chance to beat them.'

GH: Are you looking forward to school starting?
Tuiasosopo: 'Actually, you know what? I am. I want to get an education. It's my fifth year and I'd love to finish up. It's my number-one priority right now.'

GH: What's your major?
Tuiasosopo: 'My major is history, with an emphasis in education.'

GH: How is that going for you?
Tuiasosopo: 'It's going good. I'm enjoying it a whole lot. Even though it's a lot of work.'

GH: You play any other sports in your spare time?
Tuiasosopo: 'I play basketball with the fellas, but not too much. I also play video games -- NCAA and Madden.'

GH: What sports do you like to watch?
Tuiasosopo: 'Mostly football, even though I like to watch some other sports in person.'

GH: Do you have any player you look up to?
Tuiasosopo: 'Not in my position, but I look up to my brother Marques, and my dad.'

GH: Do you ever get to watch the Raiders play?
Tuiasosopo: 'I got to see two games, one here in Seattle, and I went down to watch the Super Bowl. It was a blast, even though they lost.'

GH: Are you planning to pursue a professional career?
Tuiasosopo: 'I'd love to, but we'll have to see how everything plays out. Hopefully someone will take a chance.'

GH: Have you seen any good movies lately?
Tuiasosopo: 'Yes, I just watched `Suspect Zero.' I'm not going to say too much but I would recommend watching it if you haven't seen it. I also saw `Hero.' It was good even though it had subtitles. You have to be artsy to enjoy it.'

GH: Do you consider yourself an 'artsy' guy?
Tuiasosopo: 'Yeah.'

GH: So, you're a regular down at the Seattle Opera, then?
Tuiasosopo: '(laughing) No, not so much -- though I would do it. I'm a curious guy.'

GH: Well, between trying to graduate and trying to score touchdowns, I know you're a busy man, so I'll let you go. Thanks for your time, Zach, and good luck this season!

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