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Sports >  UW football

UW Huskies run away from Portland State in 52-6 drubbing

Sept. 10, 2022 Updated Sat., Sept. 10, 2022 at 7:44 p.m.

By Mike Vorel Seattle Times

You can identify the precise moment Portland State safety Duhron Goodman conceded he was cooked.

With 10:02 left in the second quarter Saturday, UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. took a shotgun snap, dropped three steps and uncorked a trebuchet, as wide receiver Jalen McMillan sprinted uncovered up the seam. McMillan pulled in the football at the Husky 45-yard line, behind Goodman and rover Tyreese Shakir.

From there, it was a foot race – which wasn’t very fair.

“You’ve got to run like a dog’s about to bite you …,” said McMillan, who finished with four catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. “You’ve just got to take off and don’t look back.”

McMillan – who participated in Junior Olympic track and field in middle school – separated from his pursuers with widening strides, galloping untouched down the left sideline. At the 20, trailing by three yards (that must have felt like the length of a football field), Goodman took an abrupt left turn and coasted out of bounds.

A metaphorical white towel waved.

The 84-yard touchdown – which gave Washington (2-0) a 21-0 lead, in an eventual 52-6 win – is tied for the seventh-longest reception in Husky history. It was also just UW’s fourth 99-yard scoring drive to date. McMillan waved for teammates to join him in the end zone … and five others obliged over the course of the afternoon.

Like Goodman, the visiting Vikings likely understood their fate long before the race was finished.

“You guys have heard me talk about 1-0 mindset, right? It’s usually a response to adversity. But we talk about also the response to when things are going well,” UW coach Kalen DeBoer said, after his Huskies compiled their most total yards (617) since the North Dakota game in 2018.

“Human nature is to let up and relax. We want to play relaxed, but we don’t want to let off the gas. We want to stay focused and have that intensity and urgency for four quarters. So what I like right now is we’re coming off the sideline and there’s an expectation to go do it again, then it’s backed up by focus, effort and a desire to be great.”

After dazzling a week prior in his UW debut, Penix produced another strong outing on Saturday – completing 20 of 27 passes (74.1%) for 337 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. McMillan (four catches, 127 yards, 1 TD) and Giles Jackson (six catches, 105 yards) both passed the 100-yard mark, the first time two Washington wideouts have done that since John Ross and Dante Pettis in the Cal game in 2016. Penix avoided being sacked for the second consecutive game.

Standout sophomore Rome Odunze didn’t play as a precaution … and it didn’t matter.

“If you really watch our concepts, across college football everyone runs the same concepts. It’s how you package them and how you run them and when you run them,” DeBoer said. “(Offensive coordinator and play caller Ryan Grubb) is just in a good rhythm.

“He’d be the first one to tell you the players always make you look good. When the players are making the throws, the catches, the protections, and converting in those big moments, they make you look good. But he’s done an awesome job.”

Likewise, UW’s rushing attack succeeded against Portland State regardless of personnel. A week after underwhelming with just 132 rushing yards and 3.9 yards per carry in the Kent State win, the Huskies amassed 241 rushing yards, six yards per carry and five rushing touchdowns on Saturday.

Graduate student Wayne Taulapapa contributed 94 rushing yards, 7.8 yards per carry and a 6-yard score, while sophomore Cameron Davis added 70 rushing yards, seven yards per rush and two touchdowns. Junior Richard Newton even made his season debut, after recovering from a torn ACL, to net 59 rushing yards and 5.9 yards per carry in garbage time.

“The coaches made a big emphasis for us to break more tackles and just be more explosive,” said Davis, who added two catches for 15 yards as well. “I think that’s what we showed today. Obviously we’re going to watch the film, but we’re pretty satisfied with what we did.”

Dante Chachere won’t say the same. Portland State’s dual threat quarterback completed 6 of 17 passes for 50 yards, and rushed for five yards before being replaced in the second half. The Vikings managed 131 total yards and went 2 for 13 on third down, while surrendering five sacks.

But Chachere never had a chance.

“That was the University of Washington, that wasn’t us,” said Portland State head coach Bruce Barnum, of his quarterback’s struggles. “We made some mistakes early. Our guys were all hyped up playing in Husky Stadium. But once we settled down, that was just the University of Washington’s front seven doing a hell of a job on him. That’s what it was. They got after (us) up front.”

McMillan ran like a dog was about to bite him in the ass.

And defensively, the Dawgs did just that.

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