UW HUSKIES

Penix leads No. 8 UW Huskies in 41-7 rout of Michigan State

Sep 16, 2023, 6:12 PM | Updated: 7:54 pm

UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr....

UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. looks for a receiver during the Apple Cup on Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michael Penix Jr. and his teammates talked during the offseason about how last year was the first step for the UW Huskies offense to develop and how good it could be this year.

Penix and No. 8 Washington gave a glimpse of its offensive explosiveness Saturday with a 41-7 win over Michigan State.

UW Huskies 41, Michigan State 7: Box Score | Christian Caple’s Takeaways

“Just coming into last season for me it wasn’t my first year in the offense but for the rest of the team it was,” said Penix after throwing for 473 yards and four touchdowns, including three to Jack Westover. “I was saying being able to come back for another year with the same guys and offense for a second year is definitely going to be special, and it’s been special so far.”

Playing Michigan State has also been special for Penix who in four games against the Spartans has completed 109 of 175 passes for 1,476 yards, 13 TDs and and only two interceptions.

Penix “set the tone, really got us off and rolling with a lot of momentum,” said Huskies coach Kalen DeBoer.

Penix, who completed 27 of 35 passes, led the Huskies to touchdowns on five of their seven first-half drives and a 35-0 halftime lead. He had scoring throws of 5, 13 and 7 yards to Westover, and a 30-yarder to Ja’Lynn Polk. Former Michigan State wide receiver Germie Bernard, who transferred to Washington after last season, also added a 1-yard touchdown run.

The Huskies (3-0) totaled 713 yards of offense which is the most ever given up by the Spartans, topping the previous high of 666 yards by Nebraska in 1995.

“Just proud of the way we played in all phases,” DeBoer said. “You know, special teams, offense, defense, just from start to finish.”

The Spartans (2-1), who were playing their first game without suspended coach Mel Tucker, struggled offensively through most of the game and didn’t score until backup quarterback Katin Houser had a 4-yard run with 5:48 left.

Michigan State defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett was appointed interim coach to replace Tucker, who was suspended Sunday pending the results of an outside investigation into a USA Today report that alleged he sexually harassed activist and rape survivor Brenda Tracy during a phone call last year.

Michigan State wide receiver Tre Mosley refused to use the suspension as an excuse for the outcome.

“When it came out, it was a shock to everyone,” he said. “But after that we did a great job moving on because we had an opponent to get ready for it. So we couldn’t live in the past and start to cry or make excuses because Washington didn’t care what was going on with us in our program.”

HE’S BACK

Former Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, the winningest coach in school history, returned Saturday.

Dantonio, who retired in February 2020 after a 13-year run, observed the game from the Spartans’ sideline. He received a standing ovation when he was introduced during a ceremony recognizing his 2014 Rose Bowl-winning team.

THE TAKEAWAY

UW Huskies: While much attention has been given to the offense, the Huskies’ defense has been impressive through its first three games. Opponents have been held to a total of 36 points.

MSU: Michigan State’s pass defense had no answers for stopping the Huskies’ explosive offense. Penix dissected the defense with his precision passing to his sure-handed receivers who were wide-open most of the game.

UP NEXT

UW Huskies: Open the Pac-12 season hosting Cal on Saturday.

MSU: Hosts Maryland on Saturday in the Big Ten opener for both schools.

‘Fortunately, it went full circle’: Germie Bernard fits with UW Huskies, after all

UW Huskies

Penn State whiteout Auburn 2021...

Cameron Van Til

UW Huskies will experience one of college football’s great traditions

The UW Huskies will play in Penn State's annual "Whiteout" game on Nov. 9 in their first-ever trip to 106,000-seat Beaver Stadium.

16 hours ago

UW Huskies football Maurice Heims National Championship 2024 Getty 900...

Christian Caple

Caple: 8 players who could raise UW Huskies’ ceiling

With preseason practices quickly approaching, here are eight players who could improve the UW Huskies football fortunes by producing in 2024.

5 days ago

UW Huskies...

Christian Caple

UW Huskies: 5 recruits to watch who could still join program

With no more limits on the number of prospects who can sign in a single class — and several sought-after recruits still considering the UW Huskies — Jedd Fisch’s 2025 recruiting class isn’t yet complete.

6 days ago

UW Huskies Jedd Fisch spring press conference 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Is Fisch delivering on goal of UW Huskies’ best recruiting class ever?

New UW Huskies head coach Jedd Fisch is off to a strong start in making his 2025 recruiting class the best in program history.

8 days ago

UW Huskies baseball general...

Brent Stecker

UW Huskies hire Olympia native as new baseball head coach

Olympia native Eddie Smith has joined the UW Huskies as head baseball coach after a three-year tenure at Utah Valley.

8 days ago

UW Huskies Husky Stadium Oregon general...

Christian Caple

Five things to know about the UW Huskies’ 2025 recruiting class

On Montlake's Christian Caple breaks down how the UW Huskies' 2025 recruiting class is shaping up thus far.

12 days ago

Penix leads No. 8 UW Huskies in 41-7 rout of Michigan State