5 Husky Football Developments Heading into Week 2 – Sports Illustrated

It's unclear how successful this University of Washington football team will be this season in terms of wins and losses, but if Saturday night's 45-20 victory over Kent State was any indication, the Huskies will be fun to watch.
Consider that from the conference's Week 1 games, Michael Penix Jr.'s passing totals were among the most prolific of any quarterback across the Pac-12 in all categories.
Penix's yardage total (345) topped all 12 conference starters; his touchdown throws (4) tied for the most with Arizona's Jayden de Laura, formerly of Washington State; his completions (26) ranked second only to UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson, six fewer; and his attempts (39) were third only to WSU's Cameron Ward by one and to the Bruins' DTR by four.
Who was it again that wore the hat that said, "Run the damn ball?" Oh, that's so 1960s.
If you were too young for the Sonny Sixkiller era, this is what it looked like: a quarterback with a powerful arm, standing confidently in the pocket, surveying the field for any one of multiple receivers and delivering over and over again, which is what Penix did in his Husky debut.
The legendary Sixkiller, for that matter, was in attendance on Saturday. We encountered him in front of Husky Stadium two hours before kickoff, wearing a purple shirt with a W over the breast pocket that showed his allegiance and he was headed off to see friends who were tailgating. Sixkiller no doubt watched the Kalen DeBoer spread offense and the prolific Penix run it with great interest.
Here's the breakdown for each of the Pac-12 quarterback starters, ranked by passing yardage with leading totals in each category singled out in bold face type:
1. Michael Penix Jr., UW, 26 of 39 passes, 345 yards, 4 TDs, 0 Int.
2. Tanner McKee, Stanford, 22 of 27 passes, 308 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int.
3. Jayden de Laura, Arizona, 22 of 35 passes, 299 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Int.
4. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA, 32 of 43 passes, 298 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int.
5. Jack Plummer, Cal, 23 of 35 passes, 268 yards, 3 TDs, 1 Int.
6. Chance Nolan, OSU, 14 of 23 passes, 251 yards, 2 TDs, 2 Ints. 
7. Caleb Williams, USC, 19 of 22 passes, 219 yards, 2 TDs, 0 Int.
8. Cam Rising, Utah, 22 of 32 passes, 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.
9. Cameron Ward, WSU, 25 of 40 passes, 215 yards, 3 TDs, 0 Int.
10. Bo Nix, Oregon, 21 of 37 passes, 173 yards, 0 TD, 2 Ints.
11. J.T. Shrout, Colorado, 13 of 23 passes, 157 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int.
12. Emory Jones, ASU, 13 of 18 passes for 152 yards, 0 TD, 0 Int.
After UC Davis transfer Jordan Perryman grabbed the back of his leg in great pain and slowly walked off the field with the assistance of two trainers in the opener, the cornerback should have his injury revealed by the coaching staff on Monday. It would seem unlikely Perryman will be able to play this coming weekend against Portland State and his former league, with the Vikings the lone Big Sky team on the schedule. If needed, the now combined safety/corner Julius Irvin would be the logical candidate to replace the newcomer in the starting lineup. As for Perryman, it would extra cruel if his UW football career doesn't last longer than one game.
Starting defensive tackle Tuli Letuligasenoa likewise came up injured against Kent State, again with the severity unknown. The Huskies are light on bodies at that position, too. Three scholarship players have transferred out since last season, either on their own or involuntarily. If Letuligasenoa, is unable to go, the replacement options are Ulumoo Ale, Kuao Peihopa, Voi Tunuufi and Jacob Bandes to pair alongside Faatui Tuitele, who started against Kent State.
Yes, it was a 7:30 p.m. kickoff and the Huskies weren't facing a Power 5 opponent, but Saturday night's game attendance of 56,112 seemed surprisingly low considering a new era of UW football was being unveiled. Big gaps of empty seats were visible all round the stadium. This next weekend's game, with a more reasonable kickoff of 1 p.m. yet against a big underdog Big Sky opponent in Portland State, might be worse. It won't be until the Week 3 game against Michigan State that a true indicator of this season's UW fan support will be measured. The lesson here, in this time of realignment and college football elitism, is the Huskies need to step up and schedule better teams and get rid of the mismatches.
Two-time All-Pac-12 offensive tackle Jaxson Kirkland comes off a one-game NCAA-mandated absence and ankle surgery to resume his Husky football career. He's 6-foot-7 and 340 pounds now. A Southwest Washington native and Portland high school grad, it makes sense that Kirkland would make his season debut against Portland State. This will mark his 40th career Husky start should he be in the opening lineup. 
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