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Washington QB Michael Penix Jr Finishes Second in the Heisman Race

And that is the highest a Husky has ever finished in a season

2023 Heisman Trophy Presentation Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

When Michael Penix Jr transferred to Washington, there some doubters. For one, the injuries that ended four previous seasons were just impossible to overlook. For another, even with early success in his first few years, Penix's prowess seemed to dwindle greatly in 2021.

Washington v Oregon State Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

With the departure of DeBoer before the season, his offensive coordinator that found a head coaching position at Fresno State prior to the season, concerns rose at the suggestion of Penix being a system QB. And when DeBoer came to Washington, was it all possible that the system can be replicated? Was DeBoer lucky to take down Michigan State, torch Penn State, and even enter the top fifteen at Indiana?

The concerns dissipated with the first snap of the 2021 season, Penix, the butt of many initial jokes, lighting it up against Kent State. Michigan State game to town for an early date with destiny and the first time Mike was able to showcase his talent.

Washington v USC Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The rest is history. He found himself unable to overcome back-to-back losses with a heavily depleted secondary and the nation calling the team a fluke. He proceeded to then lead the team on what is the nation's longest active win streak surpassing Cody Pickett's single season passing record at least once, what may be twice.

Last season, Penix finished seventh in Heisman voting, a rarity not usually seen in Seattle. It seemed as though Husky nation was the only to believe in the upward trajectory with the early expectation that USC runs the conference. Oregon was expected to finish off the conference in a increasing campaign ever since it was his first Heisman moment where Penix threw a game winner against them.

And that is indeed the story around this Washington team that Penix got to lead this far on a still unfinished journey. Everytime in the face of adversity this Husky team was an underdog, discounted or looking at loss it was Penix who stood high for the team behind him.

And perhaps it was this teamwork and team first mentality that brought the team to where it is now, seen easily in the fact that all of the player's and coaches' names were crafted into his Heisman jacket.

Thanks to his resume, 3-0 against Oregon, road wins at USC and OSU, Pac-12 title and an Alamo Bowl victory against the same Texas team he will be playing in the CFP, UW was always in a position of success. Now, Penix is less than a 100 yards away from finishing top three in all time passing yards at Washington in just two years at the university.

All of this, and it culminated in a second place finish for the closest Heisman race since 2018. Jayden Daniels had 2029 total points, Michael Penix Jr with 1701, Bo Nix with 885 and Marvin Harrison Jr had 352.

Penix was the only finalist to be scheduled to play in the CFP, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans coming to you January 1st at 5PM PST.


And now the final question. Is Michael Penix Jr the greatest Washington Husky QB ever?

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