Chris Petersen didn’t like it.
Jake Browning said he shouldn’t have done it.
His Washington Huskies teammates, though, couldn’t have loved it more.
As Browning scored UW’s first touchdown during Saturday’s 70-21 rout at Oregon, a 1-yard run on which he was untouched, he extended his left index finger in a pointing motion toward a Ducks defender, a taunt that drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
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UW players say it was worth it, especially after “The Point” began to take on a life of its own on social media. Several UW fans snagged the photo and set it as their profile picture. Junior cornerback Sidney Jones tweeted it out as soon as the game ended.
“I think my teammates kind of liked it,” Browning said Wednesday, “but Coach Pete and all the coaches did not. Just did my punishment, and that was it.”
That punishment was 500 push-ups. His teammates tried to pitch in to help.
“Everybody raised their hand and said we’re going to do some with him,” senior defensive back Kevin King said. “That’s how everybody felt about it. We stand behind Jake, and when you have a quarterback like that, he’s just a fighter. Things like that — he’s not a cocky guy. We all know his character. He’s not cocky. He just got caught up in the moment like that.
“For us, that’s kind of exciting to see — OK, well, he might have to tone it down a little bit, but that was a good thing for us to see, that he’s having an attitude as a quarterback. That’s somebody who you want to be leading your team.”
King said he would contribute 25 push-ups to the cause, though senior defensive end Joe Mathis said Petersen wouldn’t allow Browning’s punishment to be distributed among the rest of the team.
“He didn’t let us,” Mathis said, “but we told him we wanted to.”
And the Huskies made no attempt Wednesday to conceal their approval of the quarterback’s taunt.
“Everyone loved that,” junior receiver Dante Pettis said. “You’ve got Jake Browning, quarterback from Folsom, California, with a little bit to him. He’s not just one of those quarterbacks that will sit back and let things happen. He’s showing that, OK, we’re really here. This isn’t just hype. We’ve really got something going now.”
Said Mathis: “That was pretty much making a statement, like, ‘We got you this year.’ ”
Browning wound up throwing six touchdown passes and rushing for two scores in the game, a performance that won him the Pac-12’s Offensive Player of the Week award.
But the lasting image from the UW victory, which snapped a 12-game losing streak against Oregon, will be of Browning’s left index finger.
“I think that’s going to be a picture that’s going to be around forever, in terms of this Oregon-UW battle,” King said. “They talk about The Pick? Nah. They’re gonna talk about the finger wag.”