The Huskies scored 56 points on Saturday, but what about the running game?
Will Nixon showed his progress, but there is plenty for the Huskies to sort out.
SEATTLE — Today’s glowing assessment of Washington’s superstar quarterback comes from William Inge, the Huskies’ co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, who spends parts of March and April and most of August preparing college football players to defend Michael Penix Jr.
The Huskies’ prolific offense challenges a defense’s eyes and rules, Inge said, with its varying motions and route combinations. But also: “You couple that with some elite talent, and one person back there who’s got that ball in his hand who is pretty good, once it’s coming off that left hand, that will make the stress go through the roof for you.”
Penix is so accurate and has such command of Washington’s offense — and is throwing to such a talented group of receivers — that it can be easy to take his contributions for granted, or at least marvel at a 450-yard, 5-touchdown performance a bit less than you might have last season.
He’s good. He’s really good. He might be the best pure college passer in school history, and he’s yours for another 11-plus games.
With the elite-quarterback box checked, though, attention shifts to those less-refined facets of Washington’s offense.
It’s a short list, and it starts at running back. Or, more precisely, with the running game.