Seattle, WA—-They are already shouting Michael Penix Jr. for the Heisman and the last few weeks he has been playing lights out football for UW.
Penix Jr. completed 20 of 27 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns, that’s 46 of 66 for 682 yards and six TDs passing in two weeks. The Washington Huskies took down Portland State 52-6 on Saturday at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.
“That’s the reason I came here — I knew what we’d be able to do when I got here,” Penix said. “First of all, it’s an amazing coaching staff because I knew what those guys would do to get us in position to have those big games and a lot of yards and stuff like that.”
The Portland State football team had trouble catching its breath. One reason might have been the wildfire smoke blanketing Seattle, leaving a thick cloud over the city and Husky Stadium just half full. Clearly, a health hazard.
The air quality wasn’t great, but that didn’t stop the UW aerial and ground attack. It amassed 617 yards of total offense, giving it 1,142 in two games.
“What I like right now is they come off the sideline and there’s an expectation to do it again and it’s backed up by focus and effort and the desire to be great,” UW coach Kalen DeBoer said. “It’s real cool to see.”
The University of Washington’s high-powered offense scored on its first four possessions in Saturday’s opening half and never let their foot on the gas pedal.
UW did it without top receiver Rome Odunze, who was in uniform but didn’t play for an undisclosed injury but they didn’t miss a beat on the offensive front.
Just six-plus minutes into the game, backup running back Cam Davis picked his way through the line and scored from 8 yards out, for the first of two TDs for him on this day.
Less than three minutes later, Penix, facing heavy pressure coming up the middle, dumped off a 12-yard pass to a crossing Ja’Lynn Polk, who dove and stretched the ball over the goal line for a 14-0 lead.
Penix Jr. had 248 yards by halftime as the Huskies built a 31-3 lead, a late first-half overthrown interception the only blemish on his stat sheet.
Coming out of halftime, the UW stayed aggressive in moving the ball up and down the field. The Huskies scored on their first two possessions, going 80 yards for Will Nixon’s 4-yard TD run and 67 yards for Davis’ over the goal the pylon. That upped the score 45-6 with plenty time on the clock to play.
Jalen McMillan and Giles Jackson piled up 127 and 105 receiving yards, respectively, giving the Huskies their first pair of pass-catchers to surpassed the 100 yards mark in a game since John Ross and Dante Pettis did it in 2016.
“Coach Ryan Grubb and coach are being honest about being perfect and doing our roles and our jobs,” McMillan said. “I’m not surprised at all. I’ve put in so much work to where I expect this of myself and I expect even more. As the season goes, I expect to do this every game.”
Backup quarterbacks Dylan Morris and Sam Huard both took turns in running the offense in the final frame.
True freshman wideout Denzel Boston closed out the scoring late in the game when he took a Huard handoff and scored on a 2-yard run.
Only the names on the back of their jerseys were different from the opener as the UW dominated these Big Sky defenders with drives of 77, 74, 99, and 72 yards to get started, with four different players finding the end zone. Those early drives set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Huskies had 500 of their 617 yards by the end of the third quarter and held Portland State to 131 yards, and just 50 yards passing with four sacks.
The Huskies host No. 14 Michigan State next Saturday in the third of four home games to start the season. It will be the Spartans’ first trip to Seattle since 1970.