Washington names Michael Penix Jr. starting QB for opener

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SEATTLE — Washington is going with Michael Penix Jr. as its starting quarterback for the season opener against Kent State, coach Kalen DeBoer said.

Penix, a transfer from Indiana, had been considered the leader for most of the offseason in the competition with Dylan Morris and Sam Huard.

“He’s just had a really great camp and he’s been consistent from the time spring ball started to where he’s at now,” DeBoer said. “He’s done a great job earning it.”

Penix, who is a junior in eligibility, had an injury-filled career at Indiana before deciding to transfer after last season.

Penix knows DeBoer’s system the best after having played for him in 2019 with the Hoosiers. As a freshman, Penix threw for 10 touchdowns in just six games before injuries took over. Penix has never played more than six games in a season.

“I just wanted to be somewhere where I felt like I’d be comfortable and be able to become a better person and become a better player, and I felt like this was definitely a spot,” Penix said. “Being under coach DeBoer once already I know some of the things that he brought to the table and the way he wants things to run and I wanted to be a part of that.”

DeBoer said Morris would be the primary backup with Huard serving as the third-string QB. Morris started 15 games the past two seasons, but got the blame for an offense that underperformed last season.

Huard arrived at Washington as a highly touted recruit with significant family ties to the program. He made his first career start against Washington State in the Apple Cup last season and struggled.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

west virginia football
Lee Coleman/Getty Images
0 Comments

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.