It was only this week that the Washington Huskies ascended into the top four of the College Football Playoff. They promptly almost blew it in the Apple Cup on Saturday against in-state adversary Washington State, if not for the boldest of bold calls from head coach Kalen DeBoer.
Faced with a 4th and 1 in his own territory, DeBoer tried a trick ’em dick ’em fake sneak shift with his punt team before burning a timeout.
You’d expect a standard punt after that, no? THINK AGAIN!
To in essence take the ball out of Michael Penix Jr’s hands with the game, season, and a CFP berth on the line is audacious to say the least. But count on DeBoer to pull something like this off. He’s just a flat-out innovative offensive-minded head coach. The antithesis of curmudgeonly old-school personalities who are going the way of the dodo at a slow but steady pace.
I guess I shouldn’t say Penix had no part in this play. According to DeBoer, it was on Penix to make a split-second decision as to how this run would unfold in the first place.
Even more amazing to watch when you hear Kalen DeBoer say this was an option play and Penix made this decision. Incredible! pic.twitter.com/C6kZWVWX5d
The veteran QB’s level of execution and detail on these fakes are what fooled the Cougars into going for the inside run. Penix’s crafty ball-handling and cool flip on the end around to Rome Odunze made the whole call morph in real time from a potential disaster to the ultimate Big Penix Energy play.
Penix had some shaky throws thereafter. Like we’re talking at least two balls that were interceptable. Turnover-worthy plays. His last dropback was a sack. Struggling kicker Grady Gross knocked it through the uprights when it mattered most to give Washington the DUB.
Our guy Penix couldn’t even watch. His entire team had rushed the field and he was still buried in the bench, deep in thought, perhaps overwhelmed by how relatively anticlimactic the conclusion of his odyssey of a collegiate football career almost became.