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Powell Pick Propels Purple Past ASU 15-7


NCAA Football: Arizona State at Washington
Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) looks to pass against the Arizona State Sun Devils
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports is this going to be said? A-ha! What a strong defensive effort for the Huskies and dominating game limiting Arizona State to 7.

Unfortunately, that’s where the buck stops as Washington puts together their worst offensive performance in the DeBoer era. And how we managed to score enough points to beat the seven points ASU Sun Devils put together will forever be a mystery to me.

The game started off nice and simple, a three and out after a hopeful first down for the Sun Devils and Penix takes the field. The hero offense that defeated the Ducks last Saturday will now play possibly the worst defense they will face all season. Over the course of the next 87 seconds of game play the collective mind of Husky nation went from, “Yes! Let’s go!” to a stunning, “Oh my goodness gracious, did Penix just throw a first drive interception?”

Arizona State v Washington
Zion Tupuola-Fetui #4 of the Washington Huskies celebrates a stop against the Arizona State Sun Devils
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The answer is yes and to be clear, the fault was on him as the ball was limply thrown into the air without his signature velocity and picked off before Odunze could make the cut back on it.

Deliberately, Arizona State stomped back onto the field, the look of confusion on their face mixed with, oh we may stand a chance in this game. Refuse to cash in on a good field position for a kick, they did, as they would say in a galaxy far, far, away and Washington got a chance to do what they do. Score. Who threw that an interception? Ah, it’s behind us, this is the moment. “We are the number five team in the nation.”

...Is what I ended up saying with my inside-the-head voice watching the Huskies do what they don’t do and go five plays to punt. With ASU promptly being held to a turnover on downs, a familiar fourth-and-three for Husky fans, Penix came back out with the offense and us Husky fans collectively started doing the math. The team had a couple minutes left in the first to put everything behind them and score some touchdowns. No one was likely doing more math than the unfortunate Dawg Pound writer who predicted covering the spread.

Nope. Actually the offense continued to run what I can only call an Iowa offense, barely picking up yards and giving the defense too short a rest. Off a tipped ball in the endzone, ASU covered the length of the field in the games only offensive touchdown drive of the night and desperately a feeling took hold. A feeling of dread hung over us as we tried to close out the half at least not down to ASU. Maybe a 7-7 tie?

No. This wasn’t an offensive game and maybe we can find the silver lining and say to ourselves, “Wow, this UW defense finally showed up.” Arizona State has potential in that running back of theirs, a player whose size and speed was almost unstoppable all night. But the defense held them to only seven points all game and finally the offense broke through.

Arizona State v Washington
Can we just give Takisha Penix, Mom of the Year?
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

In fact, how did they break through? With a defensive pick six that breathed some life into this team after three and a half quarters of play. None other than Powell accomplished this and it’s about time Husky nation gave him some love. He wasn’t in the ASU loss last year, nor the UCLA one and since coming back last year against Cal — the Huskies are undefeated. Rather, they remain undefeated. With some heavy hits against Oregon, Powell is finding his confidence in a secondary that has found their rhythm. Their identity.

Michael Penix Jr went 27/42 for 275 yards and 2 interceptions. The Heisman factor wasn’t there, but this isn’t about that. Every week we have to go 1-0 no matter how we do it.

The defense finished with just one turnover — two if we counted turnover on downs in this category, but the fact that they were on the ball breaking up passes gives UW a glimmer of hope. The schedule only gets harder from here with Stanford, USC, Utah, Oregon State, and WSU, but hopefully these 7-0 Huskies can learn from this. It’s one week at a time and this game is behind them.

Fun fact: the last time the Dawgs was ranked #5 in the nation was another 6-0 UW team in 2017 who promptly lost to ASU and dropped to 6-1. At least there’s that, this team remains unbeaten and we may never have to play an Arizona school again.

Some runner-ups for the recap title for those into comedy:

  • Washington Outscores Arizona State 15-7
  • Washington and Arizona State Play *In Parentheses* Washington Wins
  • Washington Tries Hard to Let Arizona State Win

It’s Sunday on the East Coast but once the clock strikes midnight out West, all at once we must say to ourselves what ASU game? It’s Stanford time and this was a bit of a blemish. If UW remains undefeated, however, this will be long behind us.

Lets go Huskies.


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