Michael Penix Jr.

The unranked Washington Huskies opened their Saturday by hosting the 11th-ranked Michigan State Spartans in a non-conference game. Washington begins their Sunday after a 39–28 win wondering how far in the rankings they can go.

The play of QB transfer Michael Penix Jr. is a major plot point. In the victory versus the Spartans, Penix threw for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns. The time it took him to get moving was little.


Penix displayed his precision in the downfield throwing game during Washington’s opening drive when the team faced a 2nd and 4 from their own 46-yard line and he sent a vertical pass to Jalen McMillian along the left side of the field.

Remember this play as the draft season heats up and discussions arise regarding the value of a strong arm, and especially high velocity, for a quarterback. Penix ramps up some serious speed on this throw, and when combined with his precise accuracy, Taulapapa has a real shot at completing the play for a score. The defender is in a terrific spot to stop the play, but the throw allows Penix and Taulapapa to make a connection.

Neither Penix nor the first half had completed its tasks. With time running out in the first half, the lefty passer found Polk for a touchdown pass that helped the Huskies take a commanding 29-8 lead into the locker room.

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If you ask me, this was Penix’s finest moment of the evening. Since the Redskins are in a 3×2 formation with the ball on the right hashmark, they have to clear the backfield. Penix intends to throw to the right slot receiver on a quick peek route, but as he releases the ball, the underneath defender slides into the throwing path, blocking the throw.

UW Huskies name junior Indiana transfer Michael Penix Jr. starting quarterback | The Seattle Times

Penix snatches the ball from the air and buys time by rolling to his left while maintaining his gaze fixed on the field. During the scramble drill, he sees Polk running back towards the outside and hits him with a pinpoint pass for a touchdown.

On Washington’s first possession of the second half, Penix and Polk would connect for their third touchdown pass:

Both the offensive play calling and the quarterback’s performance are superb. In this play, Penix takes the snap from the center position and executes a run fake before rolling to his right. Polk, on the other hand, takes a crossing route deep to the right, working against the action. Polk is able to get in behind the defense as Penix’s roll to the right distracts the defense. Then, Penix immediately turns his head and feet to the left, hitting his target in stride for a 53-yard touchdown.

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On the second touchdown pass to Polk, which we were able to observe on film, Penix slid to his left to gain some time before throwing a perfect pass to Polk in the back of the end zone. The favorite receiver also gave the QB a high review. In reference to his quarterback, Polk said, “He works hard and he’s comfortable with us” after the game. He believes in us, he said. He understands that we will do everything in our power to shield him and retrieve the ball from the air.

Washington is now 3-0 on the season as they prepare to begin their conference campaign. Next Saturday night, the Huskies will play host to Stanford. In addition, the victory could boost Penix’s stock as a potential draft quarterback, considering this is the evaluation season after all.

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