Pat McAfee believes Washington’s key to the Sugar Bowl rests with the offensive line. That could be good news for a unit that captured the Joe Moore Award as the nation’s best this season.

Obviously, Michael Penix Jr. is the engine that makes the Huskies go, but McAfee hammered on the importance of giving the quarterback a clean pocket. That task will not be easy against Texas with many analysts believing the Longhorns will have an edge in the trenches.

“Absolutely sensational,” said McAfee about Penix’s work. “And he’s averaging 11.1 yards per target as well, so he’s taking shots. They have a plethora of weapons, they’re all healthy — as is he we would assume — so we could see the show. If they’re able to protect him… 89% of his completions come from in the pocket.

“Now, if you pressure him within the pocket like Oregon was able to do in the second half of the Pac-12 Championship, who knows what that will be? But if you give him some time, he can do it.”

Penix’s work in the passing game is undoubtedly the biggest weapon, but McAfee also pointed to the QB’s ability to get yards on the ground if needed, something the analyst believes people forget about with Penix.

“Penix is able to move. A lot of people forgot about this because he has 2 torn ACLs. But if he needs it, he can get it, and he’s a dog,” McAfee explained.

The Huskies enter the Sugar Bowl as the undefeated Pac-12 champions, but it is Texas who is listed as a 4-point favorite per ESPN Bet. Can Penix shine with a shot at the CFP National Championship on the line?