Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has cemented himself among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy thanks to a tremendous start. Can Penix Jr. stay there? Or better yet, can he climb atop the leaderboard?
There will certainly be more opportunities for Penix Jr. to showcase his abilities, continuing Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) against California to open Pac-12 Conference play. Washington is a 21-point favorite (-110) and -1200 to win outright.
Now that we’re nearly a month into the college football season, let’s take a closer look at what’s made Penix Jr. so unique. Here’s a breakdown of Michael Penix Jr.’s stats.
More of the Same for Star QB
Michael Penix Jr.’s stats are among the best in the country. There’s no debate. Through three NCAAF games, Penix Jr. has completed 74.3% of his passes for an NCAA-best 1,332 yards, 12 touchdowns and only one interception. Unsurprisingly, Washington is 3-0 (2-1 against the spread), having blown out non-conference foe’s Boise State, Tulsa and Michigan State. The Huskies are averaging 46.7 points per game, eighth most in FBS.
The former Indiana transfer was particularly impressive in his last start, Saturday against the Spartans, throwing for 473 yards and four scores. The Huskies opened a commanding 35-0 halftime lead and rolled to a 41-7 victory on the road, improving their stock before turning the page to Pac-12 play.
With Penix Jr. returning, it’s now easy to see why many college football predictions had Washington competing for a conference championship. Oddsmakers projected them for 9.5 wins, leaving little margin for error.
Penix Jr.’s Heisman Trophy odds have skyrocketed, going from +1600 to +600 in the span of three weeks. He’s now near the top of the board, trailing only USC quarterback Caleb Williams (+380) in most sportsbooks. In doing so, Penix Jr. has leapfrogged a handful of candidates, including Florida State’s Jordan Travis (+1400) and LSU’s Jayden Daniels (+2000).
Penix Jr. obviously possesses the ability to stay there. Having been rejuvenated by former Indiana offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer, Penix Jr. has passed for 43 touchdowns and just nine interceptions over the last two seasons. His production rivals any quarterback in the country.
Washington, of course, has reaped the benefits. The Huskies have climbed to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 NCAA football rankings, up from 10th. They’re one of eight teams currently ranked from the Pac-12, five of which are in the Top 15.
While No. 5 USC remains the Pac-12 favorite (+200), Washington is right behind the Trojans with +300 odds. So, too, is Oregon (+320), which has a quality quarterback of its own in Bo Nix. If Penix Jr. is able to keep the Huskies in the mix for a conference title, his chances of dethroning Williams for college football’s most celebrated award will only increase.
With a healthy and productive Penix Jr., anything is possible for the Huskies. Oddsmakers seem to agree, pricing them +2600 to win the national championship. At the moment, there are only eight schools with better odds. Over the next few months Washington will have plenty of chances to bolster its resume, starting Oct. 14 against No. 10 Oregon. The Huskies will also visit USC on Nov. 4. Keep that in mind when looking for the best college football bets.
For Michael Penix Jr. stats, CFB betting odds, analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.
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