Year 2 of the Kalen DeBoer era got off to a great start on Saturday, as his Washington Huskies left no doubt in a 56-19 win over Mountain West leader Boise State.

After having one of the great turnarounds in the country last year, UDub entered the season with big hopes and a bigger passing game. That delivered as expected, with Michael Penix Jr. lighting up the Huskies by spreading the ball around to the league’s top trio of targets.

More impressively, the Washington defense put the clamps on a good Boise passing attack.

For a team with championship aspirations, it was a great start.

Here are 3 takeaways from Washington’s win…

Michael Penix Jr. looks better than last year

It was going to take something special for Penix to top his phenomenal 2022 performance, but he sure got off to a good start on Saturday. Penix completed 29 of his 40 passes for 450 yards and 5 touchdowns with no picks, connecting frequently with his trio of top targets — Rome Odunze, who had 7 catches for 132 yards and a score; Jalen McMillan, who had 8 catches for 95 yards and 2 scores; and Ja’Lynn Polk, who caught 3 balls for 101 yards and a score.

But it wasn’t just the total numbers, but how Penix slung it on Saturday. The ball darted out of his hands. The Huskies passing game will be thrilling.

The Huskies can survive a subpar running game

The loss of Cameron Davis for the season dealt a crushing blow to the UW running game. But that in and of itself does not deal a major blow to Washington’s season outlook. The Huskies ran for just 78 yards on 19 carries but managed 568 yards of total offense, a mark that puts it among the nation’s leaders.

Will Nixon had a solid 48 yards on 6 carries, but DeBoer certainly would like to see more out of Dillon Johnson, who had just 12 yards on 7 carries.

If the pass defense plays like this, the Huskies can make a playoff push

Washington’s Achilles’ heel a season ago was the pass defense.

The Dawgs played admirably against Boise State QB Taylen Green on Saturday. They flummoxed and frustrated the Broncos star to allow just 19-of-39 passing for 244 yards and picked him off twice.

A Washington defense that showed a propensity to turn games into shootouts left no doubt in this one, and that bodes well for a schedule that includes some Heisman hopefuls.