Penix: Huskies’ ‘expectations’ consist of nationwide title
SEATTLE– Washington isn’t dodging expectations or huge goals after an 11-win season and the return of several national awards prospects. The Huskies are setting them.
“Our expectations are a national championship,” quarterback Michael Penix Jr. told ESPN on Monday. “That’s what we all desire, which’s what our company believe we can get. That’s simply my self-confidence.”
Penix, who led the country in passing average (357 yards per game) in his first season at Washington, ended up eighth in Heisman Prize voting in 2022. Washington’s offense rose from 114th nationally in 2021 to second last year, as coach Kalen DeBoer and his staff installed a dynamic passing scheme.Last season,
the Huskies didn’t reach the Pac-12 national championship however won their final 7 games to complete No. 8 nationally. Several star players bypassed the NFL draft to return for 2023, including Penix, top pass receiver Rome Odunze and edge rushes Bralen Trice and Zion Tupuola-Fetui.
The Pac-12 hasn’t won a national championship because USC in 2004 and hasn’t had a group in the College Football Playoff because Washington in 2016.
“I understand that some individuals are scared to address that, like, ‘What if we do not win a national championship? The season ends in a failure,’ however it would be incorrect for us not to pursue the top,” stated Odunze, who led the Pac-12 with 1,145 receiving backyards in 2022. “If we want to be our best version of ourselves, then what’s possible for us is the national championship. We’re not going to shy away from that reality, and neither are we going to sulk and groan, if that’s not precisely how it works out.
“We’re going to work our ass off and head out there and contend.”
Odunze and his teammates say their coaches motivate a player-driven program, which includes setting goals. He wishes to help Penix become Washington’s first Heisman winner, while likewise attempting to win the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s leading receiver.The fourth-year player acknowledged Washington is”skipping steps, “but he and others felt they were good enough to win the Pac-12 last year, despite finishing 3-6 in 2021 and going through a training change. “We all disliked the position we remained in,”Trice stated.”We were mad, we were upset, and assisting our new coaches in assisted drive that cravings that we had. Pac-12 champion, Mike getting Heisman, I’m intending to get protective player of the year and going all the way, CFP, we’re more than capable. “Tupuola-Fetui noted that Washington’s schedule sets up much better for a CFP push. After not facing Utah and USC, the groups that satisfied for a Pac-12 title in 2022, the Huskies get both on the slate in addition to Oregon and Oregon State, and Boise State and Michigan State in non-league play.” If we come out of that unblemished, you need to appreciate us,”said Tupuola-Fetui, a third-team AP All-America choice in 2020 who earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors last year.”SC’s on there, Utah’s on there, Boise State’s a quality nonconference challenger, Michigan State. All the reasons that might have been thrown at us before are not going to be able to, as long as we handle our organization.”Regardless of the Pac-12’s CFP drought, Tupuola-Fetui believes the league is set up to break through this season. 5 teams won 10 or more games last season, and the league returns an impressive group of quarterbacks, led by USC’s Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman Prize winner, together with Penix, Utah’s Cameron Rising and Oregon’s Bo Nix.Washington last won the Pac-12 in 2018, and the program’s last championship game came in 1991.”We’re simply not eluding when it comes
to the capacity of this group,”Tupuola-Fetui stated.”We had a lot of men that might have gotten in the draft last year, who chose to come back. That’s not typical. Being open about what we want, it keeps us on that path of why we’re coming in every day.”