Michigan State falls to Washington as Penix throws four TD passes

Wayne Taulapapa, Cal Haladay
Posted at 12:12 AM, Sep 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-18 09:04:52-04

SEATTLE (AP) — Michael Penix Jr. threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns, and Washington emphatically stated its case as a contender in the Pac-12 with a 39-28 win over No. 11 Michigan State on Saturday night.

Penix was spectacular for three quarters in a primetime national showcase that showed Kalen DeBoer’s rebuild of the Huskies (3-0) is progressing faster than expected. Washington led 29-8 at halftime and 36-14 after three quarters.

Having a star quarterback certainly helps.

Penix completed 24 of 40 passes and just missed posting the eighth 400-yard passing game in Washington history. He was at his best in the first half, making 18 of 24 attempts for 278 yards and leading Washington to touchdowns on four of its five possessions.

Ja’Lynn Polk had six catches for a career-high 153 yards and three TDs.

Payton Thorne threw for 323 yards and three TDs, and led a pair of quick fourth-quarter scoring drives for Michigan State (2-1) that caused some nerves for the Huskies. But the rally was too late for the Spartans, who were stymied in the run game and saw their pass defense get exposed.

It was Washington’s first win over a ranked Power Five nonconference opponent at home since beating Michigan to open the 2001 season.