If you like pretty good offense, you probably loved this game.
If you are into disorganized, feeble defense, then I hope you recorded it and marked it “KEEP UNTIL I DELETE.”
The Husky offense scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the seventh time in as many games, and the crowd was able to help the Dawgs (5-2, 2-2) get off the field on two occasions in the first quarter. That was pretty much the difference. Arizona (3-4, 1-3) wasn’t going to be stopped much today, but getting the ball back to the offense to build an eventual 17 point lead allowed UW to cruise to the win.
Why was that lead seemingly insurmountable? Was it because the Huskies weren’t going to allow a ton of easy points? Nope, it’s because Michael Penix, Jr and the Husky offense make scoring touchdowns look even easier than the ones they surrender.
Penix set a UW record with 516 passing yards, surpassing the previous record held by Cody Pickett who threw for 465 yards back in 2001. Penix now owns the 1st and 10th best single game passing efforts in Husky football history. He also set the school record for total yards with 529, breaking Marcus Tuiasosopo’s record of 509. The smooth lefty signal-caller amassed those yards while completing 82% of his passes (what??) and averaging nearly 12 yards per attempt. He threw four TDs, ran for another, while not turning the ball over or getting sacked. Penix is putting together one hell of a season.
The only way offenses were going to be stopped today was if they shot themselves in the foot. UW did it a couple times getting extremely cute on 4th down plays, and also a key 3rd down in the 4th quarter. With the offense able to do basically anything they wanted with Penix and the controlled passing game, it was puzzling that Ryann Grubb and Kalen DeBoer thought it wise to put extra sauce in the mix when it came to those short conversions.
Arizona bumbled away opportunities themselves, with DJ Williams dropping a sure first down on the Wildcats second drive, and although they nearly got away with it in the 2nd quarter, their speed option attempt surely had their fans screaming as Jayden de Laura flung the ball out in front of running back Jonah Coleman.
The wide receivers had to have fun out there, what with no one anywhere near them as they ran routes an caught footballs. Rome Odunze was the star of stars, with 9 catches for 169 yards and two TDs. The Wildcat trio of Tetairoa McMillan (7/132/2) Dorian Singer (6/99/1) and Jacob Cowing (7/94/0) had their way with a depleted UW secondary. Jordan Perryman was out there, but he probably shouldn’t have been. Props to him for gutting it out, but he looked to have a hard time moving. Even Dominique Hampton was absent for this one. The injuries to the secondary for the Huskies are becoming comical. However, it’s nice to have Asa Turner back, he makes a difference out there.
The poor pass defense in this one was probably best typified by a two play sequence late in the 3rd quarter when Penix hit Giles Jackson (wide open) for a 38 yard TD that was called back by a holding penalty on Jaxson Kirkland. No problem; back up the Dawgs 10 yards and Penix finds an even MORE wide open Odunze on the very next play for a 48 yard touchdown that made the score 42-24.
Arizona would score (with ease) a couple more times and add a walk-in-the-park two point conversion to reach 39 points, but frankly, it felt like de Laura would need to put 60 points on the board if he wanted to go flag-planting for a second time on Alaska Airlines field. Instead, Jeremiah Martin and Voi Tunuufi planted de Laura into the turf a couple times down the stretch to knock him out of the game, and UW walked out with the 49-39 victory.
This offense is great. This defense is not.
On to Cal, who only scored 13 points on Colorado. Something tells me they’ll get more than that against Washington.