Michael Penix Jr. on the threshold of a record season for Washington – KIRO 7 News Seattle | Update News

SEATTLE – With all the player traffic through the transfer portal in the off-season, the arrival of Michael Penix Jr. to Washington was rather unexpected.

Entering the final weekend of the regular season, Penix was a strong defender of the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year title like no other.

Penix boasts of its stellar season on Saturday as the 12th ranked Huskies take on Washington State in the Apple Cup. His season was a show of staggering numbers, staggering throws and big wins, none of which was expected to be of such a level in pre-season.

“My season would not have been possible without this team,” said Penix. “In general, I’m not just talking about myself. It’s always about the team, because team success would certainly shed light on individual success.”

Penix and the Huskies have had plenty of individual and team success, and they could finish the season with 10 wins, beating the Cougars, and have an outside chance – albeit an unlikely one – of playing for the Pac-12 Championship.

“Ultimately, no matter what you do as a unit, if your team isn’t winning, it’s not good,” said Penix. “We’re all in college, we’re all playing for a higher level. We play with our teams, trying to help our team win football games, but at a higher level, especially at the quarterback position, these guys want to see winners. If you’re not a winner, it doesn’t really matter what your individual stats are.”

But aside from Washington’s nine victories, Penix has many impressive numbers.

The best passer, not only in the Pac-12, but also in the country? It’s not Caleb Williams from USC. This isn’t Bo Nix in Oregon. This is not Jayden de Laura from Arizona.

Penix averages 356.5 yards per game, a staggering number considering there were glimpses of this kind of production during his previous seasons in Indiana, but consistency was lacking. Penix started the year with eight straight games for at least 300 yards, seeing the streak end with just two yards against Oregon State, then throwing for 408 yards in Washington’s upset Oregon victory.

Penix played just five 300-yard games in his Indiana career and threw a total of 4,197 yards in 20 games with the Hoosiers. He already has 3,869 yards in 11 games for Washington, and with two more major games — Saturday’s Apple Cup and a bowling game — Penix could break Cody Pickett’s once-seemingly untouchable high school record of 4,458 yards, set in 2002.

If Penix exceeds 4,000 yards, he will be the 14th quarterback in Pac-12 history to reach that goal.

“Every day he brings a certain type of attitude,” said Jalen McMillan, a Washington wide audience. “His calmness; you need to be calm with him. He’s obviously very talented, but he’s also very intelligent.”

Whether or not Penix returns for another season with the Huskies, his place in Washington’s history was secured with his performance in a win over Oregon two weeks ago. With all the passes Penix has made this season, his cross kick to Taj Davis for a 62-yard touchdown with 3:07 left that took the Huskies to even 34-34 will be hard to beat.

“It’s Mike’s best shot in the game,” said Washington Offensive Coordinator Ryan Grubb. “I’ve also seen him make a lot of crazy shots in practice, but just his recognition of the marking pattern was phenomenal and his ability to deliver the ball on time and throw the right kind of ball.”

Prior to the season, it seemed possible that Penix would return to Washington for another season. That may now disappear due to the growing hype surrounding his NFL draft wrestling.

But the Apple Cup is still on the agenda.

“I’m just trying to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to help this team win football games and prepare for football games, and to make sure that every time we go into those big moments, we just come out there and shine,” said Penix.


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