Michael Penix Jr. is not focusing on his past success against Michigan. He understands the defense he’ll face in Houston is much better than the one he previously faced while at Indiana.

During the 2020 season, Penix led the Hoosiers to a win over Michigan, snapping a longtime losing streak for IU against the Wolverines. However, the star quarterback admitted during a Wednesday teleconference that the success he had in that game does not impact this matchup.

“I want to say I can’t really use anything from my past playing them because obviously I played them with a totally different team, so it was a totally different time,” said Penix. “That was the year of COVID, as well.

“Nothing that happened before will carry over to what we have to prepare for come Monday. But I’m just super excited for the opportunity, and I know my guys will be ready.”

As for this year’s matchup, Penix sees a defense under Jesse Minter that does a good job at getting a QB “off his mark.” However, Penix expects Washington to be ready with a national title on the line.

“That’s a good team over there. They’re coached up very well. But we’re going to be ready for the challenge. They mix up the picture quite a bit,” Penix explained. “They try to get the quarterback off his mark. But we’ll be ready for it. We know that.

“Obviously it’s the biggest game right now mainly because it’s our next one but obviously because it’s the championship, as well, for the National Championship. But I’m super excited for the opportunity, but we’re just going to continue to prepare the same way that we do each and every week.”

During Michigan’s Rose Bowl win against Alabama, the Wolverines sacked QB Jalen Milroe 6 times. The pass rush figures to be a key factor in this game as Washington’s offensive line prepares for the challenge of protecting Penix.