Given the nature of the opponent, going with pass/fail grades this week.
Pass Offense - Pass
Two weeks into the DeBoer/Grubb/Penix era and things are looking about as good as can be. It was not a surprise to see the pass game flourish against Portland State, who gave up 2 touchdowns to the tune of 12.5 yards per attempt. Michael Penix was magnificent, and can add this dime to his highlight reel:
The last two weeks have shown why Michael Penix is the QB in Washington.— Christian Williams (@CWilliamsNFL) September 10, 2022
He has my attention. pic.twitter.com/hnLFT5ge1x
Jalen McMillan continued his strong season as well, and his 84 yard touchdown was the seventh longest in UW history. Giles Jackson had somewhat of a breakout game with over 100 yards, making it the first time since the 2016 Cal game in which two UW receivers went over 100 yards in one game. The pass game looked excellent against an FCS team - not much else to say.
Rush Offense - Pass
Questions remain, but it was nice to see Washington get some yards on the ground after struggling to do so against Kent State. Again, FCS opponent, but 6 yards per carry and 5 touchdowns on 241 total yards is what they were supposed to do. Wayne Taulapapa continued his sturdy running and Cam Davis exploded for two touchdowns. Richard Newton made his long return from injury and had a few explosive runs late in the game. Will Nixon made the most of his three carries with a touchdown run on an option pitch.
Pass Defense - Fail
This is definitely harsh, considering Vikings QB Dante Chachere threw for a grand total of 50 yards and zero touchdowns. But does anyone come out of that game feeling better about the secondary, in particular the corners? If it wasn’t for a ferocious pass rush (4 sacks, 6 TFL) in which Bralen Trice was unblock-able, Chachere would have connected on a few more passes. The game would not have been any different but the secondary didn’t cover itself in glory, getting beat deep multiple times and being saved by some Chachere overthrows. There were also a few frustration pass interference penalties keeping Portland State drives alive. Hopefully Jordan Perryman’s return will bolster the group.
Rush Defense - Pass
Portland State’s identity is in the pass game, but of their 51 ran plays, 30 were runs, and the Huskies had no problem dealing with them. The primary running backs combined for 20 carries for 60 yards and no touchdowns. Alphonso Tuputala and Cam Bright looked lively meeting running backs at the line of scrimmage.
Special Teams - Pass
The Huskies have another left footed kicker - walk on Grady Gross. He may have taken the starting placekicking duties as he booted five of his eight kick offs into the end zone, a rarity in recent seasons. Peyton Henry still handed field goals and PATs, executing when called upon. Overall special teams looked clean, with the exception of allowing a 28 yard kickoff return. Punter Jack McCallister sailed his one punt 51 yards, landing it inside the 20.
Coaching - Pass
The Huskies looked exactly how they were supposed to against this opponent, leaving no doubt for the entire game. On Saturday, we will find out what this team is really made of.