Washington staves off upset bid from Stanford to remain unbeaten
Washington got absolutely all it could handle from Stanford on Saturday, but at a site where another top-five Pac-12 team saw its College Football Playoff hopes dashed a few years back, the Huskies managed to get it done in the fourth quarter and keep the unblemished record intact.
Led by a four-touchdown day from Michael Penix Jr., No. 5 Washington defeated Stanford on the road 42-33.
The Huskies moved to 8-0 on the year, matching the 8-0 start that UW enjoyed in 2016 when a Pac-12 team last made the CFP. It also held onto sole possession of first place in the Pac-12.
Washington sputtered early for the second consecutive week, but still went into the halftime break with a 21-13 lead.
UW scored on a six-play, 50-yard drive to open the game, but it followed that up with consecutive three-and-outs.
Things started to click in the second quarter, though. Penix connected with Rome Odunze on a 7-yard touchdown dart, then followed that up on the Huskies’ next possession with a moon shot to Ja’Lynn Polk.
Stanford’s defender fell down. Polk raced 92 yards for a touchdown to put UW up 21-7.
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) October 29, 2023
In the second half, Stanford fought back.
Stanford turned its field goal drives in the first half into touchdown drives. Ashton Daniels threw for 367 yards, ran for 85 yards, and scored three total touchdowns.
A fumble from Rome Odunze with 11:37 to play in the fourth gave Stanford the ball with a chance to tighten things up. Eight plays later, Justin Lamson punched in a 2-yard touchdown to make it a two-point game.
On the Huskies’ ensuing possession, Penix was picked off in the endzone.
With 3:23 on the clock, Stanford faced a fourth-and-2 from its 28-yard-line. Coach Troy Taylor dialed up a gadget play that nearly worked. Stanford had what it wanted, but receiver Tiger Bachmeier couldn’t bring the pass in cleanly.
The 4th down conversion is no good 😅 pic.twitter.com/tfltDFRBmx
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 29, 2023
UW handed the ball off to Dillon Johnson on four consecutive plays and that was that. Johnson put a bow on his 84-yard day with a touchdown.
Penix finished with 369 yards through the air on 21-of-38 passing. Polk had 148 yards and two touchdowns on five catches. Devin Culp had a touchdown catch. Odunze had 89 yards and a score.
UW will face USC in Los Angeles next Saturday, with kickoff set for 4:30 p.m. PT on ABC.
Stanford (2-6, 1-5 Pac-12) will hit the road to face Washington State at 6 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Network.