Washington is imperfect. Washington is 10-0
The Huskies knocked out No. 18 Utah, even if their flaws remain apparent.
SEATTLE — A small scratch on the knuckle of his left index finger shone bright red, a reasonable outcome for Michael Penix Jr. — or any quarterback — against the Utah Utes and their ferocious defense.
Rather than stand as testament to what the visitors accomplished on Saturday, though, any flesh wounds or bruises sustained by the Washington Huskies instead reveal what it took to defeat an opponent of Utah’s caliber, an outfit whose physical reputation precedes it.
Penix passed for 332 yards and two touchdowns — and rushed for another — in UW’s 35-28 victory. Also, he watched tailback Dillon Johnson bulldoze his way for 104 yards and a touchdown. But before Penix took the final kneel-downs, he stood on the Huskies’ sideline and waved a towel, requesting decibels from the sellout crowd as Utah attempted to mount the kind of comeback these Huskies simply don’t seem to allow, even if they allowed plenty else in the preceding hours.
After Dominique Hampton’s fourth-down interception sealed Washington’s 17th consecutive victory, several defensive players celebrated in a manner that yielded an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Yet the referee’s microphone competed with joyous noise as he announced the foul, UW’s offense waving their arms and asking attendees to begin celebrating just before they killed the clock for good.
If it’s true that this current iteration of UW football is the most flawed 10-0 team in program history, it’s only because there has been just one other, that fabled 1991 squad that mostly destroyed its opponents and never allowed more than 21 points in a game.