Washington receivers drawing praise after 49-39 win over Arizona
When Washington receiver Ja’Lynn Polk got to the locker room after Saturday’s 49-39 win over Arizona and learned of Michael Penix Jr.’s record, he wasn’t surprised. “He comes in and works his butt off every day,” Polk said. Penix said something to the same effect after.
“Those things happen whenever you win and execute in the right way,” the Husky quarterback said after passing for 516 yards and four scores while completing 36 of his 44 passes.
They also happen when you’ve got the kind of receiving corps that Washington does, and that group’s talent was on full display.
Rome Odunze caught nine balls for 169 yards and two touchdowns. It was his fourth consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards, the first time that’s happened in UW program history. He also took over the top spot on the Pac-12 leaderboard for 10-plus-yard receptions. Jalen McMillan added 77 yards and a score on six catches. Polk had 95 yards on four catches.
The Huskies are one of only four Power Five teams in the country with four different receivers who all have at least 250 receiving yards. Odunze has 693, McMillan 530, Polk 381, and Giles Jackson 250. McMillan would be the leading receiver on each of the other three teams.
“The caliber offense we have and the guys I have around me, we can put up those numbers any week,” Penix said. “It’s just a matter of making sure we execute at a high level and making sure we’re dialed in our preparation each day in practice.”
And they’re sure doing that.
“(Odunze)’s super consistent,” said DeBoer. “I think that whole receiving corps is just really bonding tight and they are so happy for Rome. He is as humble as it comes and he is an easy guy to root for.
“The cool thing is he’s got a lot of guys like Jalen McMillan and Ja’Lynn Polk who are making their own plays themselves. They are just so fired up for him that he is having the success that he is. He is just so steady. He is coming back on scramble drills, high effort, but has the skills to go along with it too.”
And Odunze — who ranks ninth nationally in receiving yardage — doesn’t even consider himself a No. 1 option.
“I think that we have so many weapons in the wide receiver room, I told them there isn’t a definite WR1,” he said. “They’re the reasons that I’m able to get some of these balls and make some of these plays, because of the job that they’re doing on the field.”
DeBoer says Odunze is special. But he has confidence in all of UW’s skill guys.
“I feel like we still have a lot of potential left in our offense,” DeBoer said. “Each week, you never know who’s going to show up and lead the charge.”