750 The Game Staff
It was not a pretty game, but ultimately the Michigan Wolverines pulled away late to defeat the Washington Huskies 34-13 to win College Football’s National Championship on Monday night.
Michigan wins its first national championship since 1997.
Heisman trophy runner-up Michael Penix Jr. was pressured consistently throughout the night as the Huskies never quite got their explosive downfield passing game going. Penix finished with 27 completions on 51 pass attempts, 255 yards and just one touchdown.
Michigan, meanwhile, rushed for over 300 yards as a team, including both running back Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards Jr. eclipsing 100 yards. It is the most rushing yards by a team in championship game history.
After sustaining an avalanche of rushing attack from Michigan in the first half, the Huskies still managed to make it a one score game at halftime, trailing 17-10.
But Penix threw an interception on the first play of the second half. Still, Washington managed to make it a 20-13 contest with 8:58 remaining in the third quarter.
Washington had the football three more times with the score still at 20-13, but were forced to punt three times in a row. Michigan finally broke through with another touchdown drive to make it a two-score game, and didn’t look back from there.
It ends a magical season for Washington at 14-1 overall, after being the first team to be undefeated through the Pac-12 Conference schedule, including two wins over the Oregon Ducks by a total of six points capped by a win in the Pac-12 championship game. The Huskies went on to defeat Texas 37-31 in the Sugar Bowl semifinal before coming up short against Michigan.
It ends a 21-game win streak for the Huskies under Kalen DeBoer dating back to a road loss at Arizona State on Oct. 8th, 2022.
John Canzano covered the action in Houston, and don’t miss his full thoughts on the game and the road ahead for Washington, Oregon and the move to Big Ten country on the Bald Faced Truth, afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.