SEATTLE (AP) — Washington linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio knows the little bit of sloppiness that showed up for the eighth-ranked Huskies on Saturday can’t happen against other opponents on the schedule.
Against Tulsa they were brief hiccups on the way to another big day.
“We don’t take games for granted, every game is hard to win and you have got to respect every single opponent. But at the end of the day, I mean, that wasn’t our best game. And it was clear to see,” Ulofoshio said.
Michael Penix Jr. threw three more touchdown passes, wide receivers Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk both ran for touchdowns on reverses and Washington cruised past Tulsa 43-10 on Saturday.
Washington (2-0) warmed up for next week’s big nonconference game at Michigan State with another big game from its star quarterback, but an overall performance by the Huskies that will have some correctable moments to talk about this week.
“We’re doing a good job getting the (wins) but we know we left a lot out there that we know we can improve on,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said.
Penix was 28 of 38 for 409 yards. He completed passes to 10 receivers, with Jalen McMillan having the biggest game with eight receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown.
But some of the crisp execution that highlighted Washington’s season-opening rout of Boise State last week was missing even if the Huskies were never threatened in rolling to their ninth straight win dating to last season.
Penix threw his first interception of the season on a miscommunication with Odunze and was picked off in the end zone. Odunze dropped a pair easy catches, yet still finished with seven grabs for 107 yards. McMillan let a sure touchdown bounce off his hands late in the first half and, three plays later, fumbled deep in Tulsa territory with Penix forced to save a touchdown making the tackle on the return.
Even with the occasional sloppiness, Washington’s talent was simply too much for the Golden Hurricane (1-1) to hang with.
“We got a lot of things that we can do and I would hate to be a defensive coordinator going against (Washington offensive coordinator Ryan) Grubb,” Penix said. “He makes sure we’re prepared each and every day.”
Polk scored on a 27-yard run late in the first quarter going untouched with a convoy of blockers. Odunze’s TD run came late in the third quarter on a 14-yard rush. All three staring wide receivers for Washington have TD runs in the first two games after McMillan scored on a run last week against Boise State.
They can also catch as well. Oduzne had a 2-yard TD catch on Washington’s opening drive, McMillan added a 9-yard TD catch and Germie Bernard scored on a 7-yard reception from Penix in the third quarter.
Tulsa quarterback Cardell Williams was 6 of 14 for 65 yards passing and threw an interception in the end zone in the first half. Williams appeared to suffer a hand injury in the second quarter and was replaced by Roman Fuller. Williams emerged at halftime with an ice bag wrapped around his right, throwing hand.
Tulsa coach Kevin Wilson said Williams had a bruised thumb. X-rays were negative but Williams was having trouble gripping the football.
Fuller was 12 of 18 for 85 yards and threw an 15-yard touchdown to Luke McGary early in the fourth quarter.
“We played hard, we battled, we fought,” Wilson said. “They got tremendous talent, tremendous speed. Our offense played hard enough to move the ball, but making some one-on-one plays, it was difficult.”
Washington played without a trio of key contributors as edge rusher Zion Tupuola-Fetui, defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele and running back Dillon Johnson all did not play.
Tulsa starting quarterback Braylon Braxton did not play after injuring his ankle in the first quarter of the opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane should be encouraged by how they ran the ball and sustained some long drives against Washington’s defense. Tulsa had 168 yards rushing and had five drives of seven plays or longer. The downside? Only two of those drive ended in points.
Washington: The Huskies running game remains their biggest issue after managing just 109 yards. Take away runs by wide receivers and a couple of scrambles by Penix and Washington’s running backs combined for 49 yards rushing.
DeBoer said part of the issue is seeing so many opportunities in the pass game.
“It’s just really hard when you see so many things that are just open, that are given and your guys can attack and go make plays, it’s hard not to call those plays,” DeBoer said.