Kalen DeBoer likes where Washington is at heading into the second half of the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl.

The Huskies produced 305 yards of offense in the first half. Michael Penix Jr. threw for 255 yards and a touchdown, connecting with Rome Odunze (52 yards) and Ja’Lynn Polk (77 yards) for huge plays to keep the offense humming. UW scored touchdowns on three of its five first-half possessions (not counting the kneel-down before the half).

Washington’s issue was its inability to maintain a lead. Each time the Huskies pushed ahead, Texas answered back with a score. The play of the first half was a muffed punt from UW that led directly to a Washington score.

But when DeBoer met with ESPN’s Molly McGrath at halftime, his outlook was optimistic.

“We get the ball to start the third quarter, so that’s big,” DeBoer said. “We’ve just got to keep swinging. Keep playing. We’ve been in these situations so many times. We understand what it takes. Yeah, we can’t have the costly mistakes, but we’ll pick each other up and go make the next play.”

UW has been no stranger to back-and-forth games or down-to-the-wire contests this season. The Huskies have seven wins this season by eight points or less and haven’t won a game by more than 10 points since Sept. 23.

The Huskies don’t stop swinging. And they know how to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers.

“It’s what we do,” DeBoer said. “We’ve got a lot of threats out there, different ways to attack. We’ll just keep with the plan and keep attacking.”