UW football makes nonconference statement in 39-28 win over No. 11 Michigan State

Even when Kalen DeBoer is flawed, he is proper.

With 1:30 left in the primary quarter Saturday and the Huskies holding an early 7-0 lead, Washington went for it on fourth-and-goal from Michigan State’s 1-yard line. Junior quarterback Michael Penix Jr. took the snap and darted left, on what seemed to be an choice play.

He was swallowed by Spartan defensive finish Khris Bogle for a 1-yard loss.

“We’re going to play aggressive,” DeBoer stated of the fourth down choice. “When you are on the 1-yard line going in, you’ve got simply obtained to punch ’em in. That’s one thing we’ll have a look at tomorrow and… I do not wish to say I’ve regrets. But man, if we do a pair issues a bit bit higher there, a pair inches extra, the sport might have been put away even in larger trend.”

In a special season, with a special coach, and a special quarterback, which will have been the distinction. A crew that hadn’t overwhelmed a ranked nonconference opponent inside Husky Stadium since No. 11 Michigan in 2001 — albeit with treasured few alternatives — could have performed prefer it. The Huskies might have cratered on ABC, faltering for all of the world to see.

Instead, they dominated — delivering a 39-28 victory and a signature nonconference win.

Michigan State operating again Jarek Broussard — a Colorado switch — was stopped for a security on the very subsequent play.

Then Penix went again to work.

The 6-foot-3, 213-pound quarterback — who filleted the Spartans for 72.5% completions and 606 passing yards in two video games at Indiana — did not disappoint Saturday. In his third begin in Seattle, Penix accomplished 24 of 40 passes for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns. He piled up a group of head-turning completions — a 47-yard floater to vast receiver Jalen McMillan on the opening drive, a 19-yard back-shoulder sizzler to operating again Wayne Taulapapa for a 19-yard rating, a 17-yard landing rolling to his left to Ja’Lynn Polk to shut the primary half, and a picturesque 53-yard looper to Polk in the second.

“He’s simply placing the ball the place it must go,” DeBoer stated with a smile. “He’s seeing the sphere and the road’s giving him time. He is not taking sacks, even when he breaks down a bit bit. He obtained flushed, however he has confidence in taking good care of the football.

“You obtained to belief that you’ve a man you may win football video games with, not simply attempt to handle a sport.”

His coaches stated this week that Penix wouldn’t be overwhelmed.

Instead, he was overwhelming.

The identical may very well be stated of a Husky offense that outgained the Spartans 322-90 in a ruthlessly environment friendly first half, and 503 to 365 in the sport. Polk nabbed six receptions for 153 yards and have become the primary Washington participant to catch three touchdowns in a sport since Dante Pettis towards Oregon State in 2017. McMillan added seven catches for 94 yards, lunging for an acrobatic 7-yarder in the primary quarter on fourth -and-five. Running backs Taulapapa and Cameron Davis each scored as effectively.

“I bear in mind coming in in December, and listening to about JP (Polk),” DeBoer stated. “He was a juice man. He was a man that, from what everybody informed me, actually motivated the vast receiver corps.

“It’s been a pair guys every sport who’ve had their large breakout sport, and we hold spreading the wealth round. It makes it even more durable for groups to determine who to cease. But JP made some big catches, some big-time performs. I’ve seen him enhance simply individually a lot in the final couple weeks, due to his work ethic.”

Granted, this was not an ideal efficiency. A UW secondary taking part in with out two starters — security Asa Turner and cornerback Jordan Perryman — surrendered 323 yards (71% completions) and three touchdowns with one interception to Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne. The Spartans scored 20 second-half factors, reworking a laugher into one thing much less.

Still, DeBoer stated “there isn’t any doubt that I’m pleased with what we’re doing defensively. We’re simply shorthanded there a bit bit. Guys are stepping up and going on the market and making performs. Even on the sport a pair occasions, we have been subbing for the subs.”

In Turner’s place, sophomore Kamren Fabiculanan (Turner’s roommate) posted eight tackles and a sort out for loss. Linebacker Carson Bruener and cornerback Davon Banks delivered stadium-shaking hits in kickoff protection. There have been contributions from the subs (in addition to the subs’ subs).

A Husky Stadium crowd of 68,161 additionally contributed, streaming onto the sphere in waves from the scholar part and singing Prince’s “Purple Rain” collectively on the turf.

“It was a blessing, coming from final yr and the adversity we have been met with,” Polk stated. “Being in a position to come out and see our followers on the sphere, in comparison with final yr after we noticed Wazzu come in and storm our area, it was an excellent feeling. We’re again to work tomorrow and we’ll be taught from our errors in this sport and get higher this week.”

Meanwhile, UW’s offensive explosions towards Kent State and Portland State — two inarguably inferior nonconference opponents — might conceivably have been defined as Montlake mirages.

Not towards Michigan State.

That’s a Michigan State protection, by the best way, that led the nation with 12 sacks in convincing wins over Akron and Western Michigan. The Spartans didn’t document a sack Saturday, towards a Husky offensive line nonetheless lacking injured All-Pac-12 left sort out Jaxson Kirkland.

It’s additionally a Michigan State protection that ranked lifeless final nationally in cross protection in 2021, surrendering 324.8 yards per sport.

The Spartans’ issues haven’t been solved.

The identical cannot be stated of a Husky offense that has been reignited underneath DeBoer, offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb and Penix — offseason additions which have paid rapid dividends.

“Coach DeBoer has carried out every little thing after which some to get us ready for this, who led the Huskies with 9 tackles and a sort out for loss. “From vitamin, from the burden room, from the sport prep, coach DeBoer has been lights out in each single factor.”

Early in the fourth quarter, DeBoer once more opted to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1. And once more, Penix was stoned for a turnover on downs.

Thorne almost stepped out of the again of the top zone for a security, then threw an interception to cornerback Julius Irvin on the very subsequent play.

DeBoer did nearly every little thing proper Saturday.

And even when he did not, he did.

UW vs. ranked Power Five opponents since 2001

Here’s a have a look at UW’s document towards ranked Power Five non-conference opponents over the previous twenty years.

Compiled by Sean Quinton / The Seattle Times

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