Michael Penix Jr. Delivers Clutch Touchdown Pass to Secure No. 8 Washington’s Dramatic 36-33 Victory Over No. 7 Oregon

by Andrew Wright
Michael Penix Jr. late-game touchdown

Before exiting the room, Rome Odunze took a moment to direct attention to his Washington teammate, who was positioned behind the press microphones.

“The person you’re looking at could very well be the future Heisman Trophy winner,” Odunze boldly declared, pointing at his quarterback, Michael Penix Jr.

Though the Heisman voting is yet to take place and is scheduled months from now, Penix may have already had his signature moment in Saturday’s high-stakes match against long-standing Pacific Northwest rivals, Oregon.

Penix executed a critical 18-yard touchdown pass to Odunze with just 1:38 left on the clock, following Oregon’s controversial decision on a fourth down. Camden Lewis, Oregon’s kicker, failed to convert a 43-yard field goal as time expired, allowing No. 7 Washington to narrowly edge out No. 8 Oregon, 36-33, adding another electrifying episode to their enduring rivalry.

The contest marked the 115th meeting between these two fierce rivals and was notable for being the first where both teams held top-10 rankings. The game also showcased two remarkable quarterbacks, Penix and Bo Nix, both of whom are potential contenders for college football’s highest individual honor.

The game lived up to its significant billing, featuring offensive explosiveness, radical shifts in momentum, standout performances from both quarterbacks, and coaching decisions that will surely fuel debate among fans.

As the final whistle blew, euphoric Washington fans flooded the field while Prince’s “Purple Rain” resonated throughout the stadium.

“This was a truly phenomenal game of football. If I have ever been a part of a larger or more exhilarating match, it doesn’t come to mind,” commented Washington’s head coach, Kalen DeBoer.

The game also serves as the last regular-season clash before both Washington and Oregon transition to the Big Ten Conference next year, setting the stage for a dramatic conclusion to their time in the Pac-12.

A rematch in the Pac-12 championship game in Las Vegas remains a possibility. The initial encounter was an electrifying 60 minutes filled with intensity, excitement, and suspense.

Late in the game, Penix orchestrated a rapid 53-yard drive in a mere 33 seconds after Oregon was halted on a fourth-and-3 at Washington’s 47-yard line. Penix connected with Ja’Lynn Polk for a 35-yard completion between two defenders, before delivering the go-ahead score to Odunze. Washington (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) secured the lead as a result.

“He trusted me. He threw the ball, and I made sure to seize the opportunity,” Odunze recalled.

Penix ended the game with four touchdown passes, completing 22 of his 37 attempts for 302 yards. Bo Nix, Oregon’s quarterback, also put up an impressive performance, despite ending up on the losing side.

“We were just one play away from a completely different narrative,” Nix lamented.

Strategic decisions on the field, particularly on fourth downs, became a focal point in the aftermath. Oregon head coach Dan Lanning shouldered the responsibility for the three failed fourth-down attempts that ultimately cost his team.

“The accountability for this loss lies squarely with me,” Lanning admitted.

Oregon’s loss was indeed punctuated by its inability to convert critical plays, even though the Ducks managed 541 total yards and maintained possession for over 34 minutes.

Washington, on the other hand, might reconsider some of its offensive calls, especially those made during a series of third-quarter three-and-outs. Nevertheless, the team’s resilience ultimately led to a thrilling win.

Looking forward, Oregon will host No. 19 Washington State next Saturday, while Washington prepares to welcome Arizona State.

For more on college football, visit Big Big News College Football and AP Top 25 College Football Poll.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Michael Penix Jr. late-game touchdown

What was the deciding factor in Washington’s 36-33 win over Oregon?

The decisive moment came when Washington’s quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Rome Odunze with just 1 minute and 38 seconds left on the clock. This was following a controversial fourth-down decision by Oregon.

Who were the standout players in the game?

Michael Penix Jr. and Rome Odunze were standout players for Washington. Penix Jr. finished the game with four touchdown passes and completed 22 of his 37 attempts for 302 yards. Odunze had eight catches for 128 yards. On the Oregon side, Bo Nix was notable, completing 33 of 44 passes for 337 yards.

Was this game particularly significant in the history of the Washington-Oregon rivalry?

Yes, this was the 115th matchup between the two teams and the first time both were ranked in the top 10. The game could also serve as the last regular-season meeting between the two programs before they move to the Big Ten Conference next year.

What were the controversial coaching decisions in the game?

Oregon’s head coach Dan Lanning took responsibility for three failed fourth-down attempts that were pivotal in the game’s outcome. Washington also passed on a short field goal in the fourth quarter, opting instead for a fourth-and-goal which they failed to convert.

What is the future outlook for both teams?

Both Washington and Oregon are slated to move to the Big Ten Conference next year. A rematch between the two teams in the Pac-12 championship game in Las Vegas is also a possibility, given their current records and performance.

What were some key statistics in the game?

Oregon gained a total of 541 yards and held possession for over 34 minutes but still lost. Washington’s Penix Jr. completed 22 of 37 passes for 302 yards. Bo Nix of Oregon finished with 33 of 44 passes for 337 yards.

Where can one find more information on college football?

For further details on college football, you can visit Big Big News College Football and the AP Top 25 College Football Poll. Links to these sources were provided in the original article.

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JohnDoe October 15, 2023 - 7:36 am

Wow, what a game! Penix Jr really showed up when it mattered. those 4th down calls by Oregon though? questionable at best.

StatsGuru October 15, 2023 - 8:13 am

Oregon had the ball for 34 minutes and still lost? Something’s not adding up.

Pac12Loyalist October 15, 2023 - 8:16 am

Moving to Big Ten next year, huh? Gonna miss this classic Pac-12 rivalry.

SkepticalSally October 15, 2023 - 4:35 pm

The coaches on both sides made some iffy decisions. Washington passed a short field goal? really?

NeutralObserver October 15, 2023 - 5:11 pm

That game was 60 minutes of pure intensity. Wouldn’t mind a rematch in the conference title game.

HeismanWatcher October 15, 2023 - 5:32 pm

Penix Jr. for Heisman? After this game, I wouldn’t be surprised. The guy’s a playmaker.

JustSaying October 15, 2023 - 5:58 pm

we were a play away from this being an entirely different convo, like Nix said.

Duck4Life October 15, 2023 - 7:01 pm

Tough loss but we’ll bounce back. Bo Nix had a decent game but those 4th down decisions cost us.

HuskyPride October 15, 2023 - 7:50 pm

Prince’s “Purple Rain” playing and fans swarming the field? Perfect ending to a nail-biter.

FootballFan101 October 15, 2023 - 8:15 pm

Can’t believe this was the 115th match-up and the first with both in the top 10. History in the making, folks.


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