UW HUSKIES

Penix 2nd in Heisman voting for best finish in UW Huskies history

Dec 9, 2023, 6:08 PM | Updated: 6:11 pm

Michael Penix Jr. NFL Draft prospect...

UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. celebrates a touchdown against Oregon on Oct. 14, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Michael Penix Jr. has won a lot of accolades during his time as quarterback of the UW Huskies, but he will not be the first Heisman Memorial Trophy winner in program history.

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On Saturday, LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels took home the prestigious honor, finishing first place after leading the nation in total yards total touchdowns. The Heisman is awarded to the most outstanding player in college football.

Daniels had just under 5,000 total yards of offense and 50 total touchdowns for the Tigers, who went 9-3 this season. He also won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback. Daniels received 503 first-place votes and 2,029 points.

Penix finished second in the voting after leading the nation in passing yards for the second year in a row. He earned 1,701 points and 292 first-place votes.

Penix passed for 4,218 yards and 33 touchdowns while adding three more scores on the ground. Penix also guided the Huskies to a perfect 13-0 record, a Pac-12 championship as well as a berth in the College Football Playoff. Penix was the only finalist whose team will play in the playoff this year.

Penix’s second-place finish is the best in UW Huskies history, surpassing defensive lineman Steve Emtman, who finished fourth in voting back in 1991 while part of Washington’s national championship team. Penix did take home the prestigious Maxwell Award on Friday as the top player in the nation. The Maxwell and Heisman have different voters. This is just the second time since 2018 that the Maxwell and Heisman winners have been different.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, who was the favorite for the award late in the year, finished third. His candidacy took a big hit after his Ducks lost to Penix’s Huskies for the second time this season, this time in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Nix finished second in the country in passing and tied with Daniels for first in passing touchdowns with 40. Nix led Oregon to a 21-5 record over the last two seasons, with three of those five losses coming to Washington.

The other finalist was standout Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who finished fourth in Heisman voting and won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver. Harrison is the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison, who starred for the Indianapolis Colts from 1996-2008.

Penix’s next matchup is with Texas in the College Football Playoff semifinal, which is in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1.

Penix needs just 51 yards to pass Keith Price, a three-year starter, for third place on UW’s all-time passing yards leaderboard. He also needs 341 yards to pass Kenny Pickett for the second-most passing yards in a single season in program history. Penix has the No. 1 mark in that category from last season.

And with one more passing touchdown, Penix would have the second-most passing touchdowns in a single season in Washington history. Jake Browning’s 43 passing scores back in 2016 are the program record. Penix currently has 33.

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