In a showdown at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday night, the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines clinched their first national title in the playoff era, defeating Washington with a resounding 34-13 victory.
The highly anticipated game featured Michigan’s formidable defense, ranked No. 1 in the nation, facing off against Washington’s Heisman Trophy-finalist Michael Penix Jr. The Wolverines’ defense lived up to its reputation by pressuring Penix throughout the game, resulting in two interceptions.
Michigan’s victory was propelled by an impressive running game, with running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards leading the charge. Corum rushed for 134 yards, and Edwards contributed 104 yards, with each scoring two touchdowns.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh expressed his pride in the team during the trophy presentation, stating, “What they’ve done for the last 372 days is amazing. We’re champions, simply known as national champions.”
The triumph marked the conclusion of a turbulent 15-0 season for Michigan, which had faced accusations of a sign-stealing scheme, leading to a brief suspension of Coach Harbaugh late in the campaign.
Michigan’s dominance over Washington was evident as they snapped a 26-year national championship drought, capping off an undefeated season in style.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh, reveling in the moment, declared, “Took on all comers and we’re the last ones standing. Champions.”
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, pivotal in securing the win with a crucial scramble in the fourth quarter, shared his joy, saying, “It’s glorious, that’s all I can say. I just love my teammates so much, love my coaches. It’s bittersweet because it’s the last time we’re going to get to play together. It’s such a special group and no better way to end it.”