Penix leads Washington to 52-6 win over Portland State

Michael Penix Jr. threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns, Wayne Taulapapa rushed for 94 yards and a score, and the Huskies easily defeated Portland State 52-6.

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. appears poised for next week’s matchup with an old Big Ten rival after another lightning-fast start.

The Huskies remained unbeaten under new coach Kalen DeBoer with a 52-6 win over FCS opponents Portland State on Saturday. Next up is Washington’s first real challenge of the season: No. 14 Michigan State next Saturday.

“It’s definitely a statement game,” said Penix. “And you know, we’re definitely going to make sure that we go out there and just play like we played, play freely and just deliver at a high level.”

Indeed a high level. Penix threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns, Wayne Taulapapa rushed for 94 yards and a goal and the Huskies (2-0) easily defeated the Vikings (0-2) before things got serious as Michigan State and Stanford were over in town which lie The next two weeks.

Penix opened the game with an 84-yard touchdown pass to Jalen McMillan at 9:51 in the second quarter for a 21-0 lead. He also threw to Ja’Lynn Polk for a 12-yard score at the half. Cameron Davis scored two rushing touchdowns and Will Nixon and Denzel Boston added their own rushing TDs as the Huskies rushed for 241 yards and five touchdowns.

The Huskies had 500 of their 617 yards by the end of the third quarter. With more than 1,100 yards in two weeks, the team is living up to the vision UW had when they hired DeBoer, a two-year head coach from Fresno State, as Jimmy Lake’s replacement.

“We saw something big was going to happen,” said wide receiver Giles Jackson. “We just knew that the offensive is very different than last year and much more explosive.”

Penix had 248 yards at halftime as Washington built a 31-3 lead, a fallen interception late in the first half his only blemish on the archway.

McMillan finished with four catches for 127 yards. His TD catch was the seventh-longest reception in school history and capped UW’s fourth 99-yard drive. Later in the second quarter, he caught a 37-yard pass from Penix to set up Taulapapa’s 6-yard score for a 28-3 lead, 2:13 at the half.

“Me and he hang out outside of football, so we already have that connection,” McMillan said of Penix. “But he’s also super calm. And you know, when I have a calm quarterback that comes into the game, that puts my mind at ease. So just his poise and his ability to stand there and just be confident, I can be confident.”

Washington held Portland State for 131 yards and just 50 yards that went past quarterback Dante Chachere. The Vikings played tenacious, clean football without turnover, but that had little effect against the more athletic Huskies.

“That was the University of Washington, that wasn’t us,” said Bruce Barnum, Portland State coach. “We made some mistakes early on. Our boys were all excited to play at Husky Stadium. But once we settled down, that was just the University of Washington Front Seven doing a hell of a job with him.


Portland State: The Vikings were never really in the game but batted above their weight class for the second straight week after nearly upsetting San Jose State in the opener, a 21-17 loss decided about a minute from time. They were disciplined and tough against their second straight FBS opponent, boding well for the Big Sky Conference opener in two weeks time.

Washington: The Huskies showed they will be more than just Air Penix with a couple of dogged onslaughts from Virginia transfers Taulapapa and Davis, who rushed for more than 125 yards and two touchdowns at halftime. You will need more of this to keep the Spartans away from Penix.


Giles Jackson had six catches for 105 yards, which was the first time the Huskies had two 100-yard receivers in the same game since John Ross and Dante Pettis accomplished the feat against Cal in 2016.


Portland State: The Vikings take a week off before traveling to FCS third-ranked Montana to open the Big Sky Conference.

Washington: The Huskies will host number 14 from the US state of Michigan in the third of four home games at the start of the season next Saturday. It is the Spartans’ first trip to Seattle since 1970. Penix leads Washington to 52-6 win over Portland State

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