Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

 Kittipong/Adobe Stock
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National Championship Recap

Michigan+head+coach+Jim+Harbaugh+raising+the+championship+trophy+after+defeating+Washington+in+the+National+Championship+Monday+night+%28Eric+Gay%29
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh raising the championship trophy after defeating Washington in the National Championship Monday night (Eric Gay)

The college football season wrapped up last Monday night with the Michigan Wolverines defeating the Washington Huskies 34-13. After much controversy in Michigan’s season, they finally prevail as victors, while Washington ends their run as a member of the Pac 12 with a brutal defeat.

How they got here:

Both Washington and Michigan finished the 2023 regular season as undefeated powerhouse teams going into their respective conference championship. The Wolverines played an essential bye week game against the Iowa Hawkeyes, who finished with only 22 touchdowns on the season. Washington was plagued with playing #5 Oregon, who they had previously beaten by just 3. In another back-and-forth game, the Huskies once again came away with a 3-point victory. After this, both teams earned themselves a bid in the college football playoffs. Michigan had the night’s first game against historical powerhouse #4 Alabama. Michigan fell behind in this one, but with 1:44 left in the game, quarterback JJ McCarthy found star wide receiver Roman Wilson for the game-tying touchdown. Michigan would later win the game in overtime. Sophomore Jake Varholak commented on the game, saying, “Although I would’ve preferred Alabama to win, this game was an instant classic”. Washington, on the other hand, played a one-loss Texas team. Texas battled to stay in this game up until the end. With one final shot at the end zone quarterback Bo Nix aimed at a receiver at the front right pylon, but the ball was batted down by cornerback Elijah Jackson. Now Michigan and Washington were set to play in the national championship one week later.

The Game:

The actual national championship game was rather one sided. With 10:14 remaining in the first quarter Donovan Edwards would begin his monster game with a 41 yard rushing touchdown to give the Wolverines a lead that they would never give up. Then again at 2:23 left in the quarter Edwards broke for a 46 yard touchdown. By the time the first quarter ended Michigan had a 14-3 lead. Both offenses were rather quiet in the second quarter. Michigan managed to tack on a field goal, but besides that the first 14 minutes of the second quarter was heavily controlled by the defense. With just 42 seconds left in the half Husky quarterback Michael Penix Jr. found receiver Jalen McMillan in the end zone for a touchdown. Now at half time Michigan only led 17-10. In the second half it was the wolverine defense that took over. Washington, who had one of the best offenses in college football, was held to just 3 points in the second half. Although Michigan struggled offensively in the third quarter, they once again found their spark in the fourth. Running Back Blake Corum found the end zone twice and soon put the game out of reach for Washington. Long time Michigan fan Max Friedman said, “This was the greatest feeling I’ve had in my fifteen years of living. Through the ups and downs this team deserved everything”. Many other fans share quite the opposite view of Friedman, but Michigan wins their first championship in 26 years.

Michigan running back Blake Corum breaking through for another long run in his monster performance against Washington on Monday night (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)

The Future:

Michigan vs Washington will always be a memorable championship game due to it being the last of its kind. Since 2014 college football has finished every season with a playoffs consisting of the top 4 teams. After the conclusion of the 2023-24 season the playoffs will now consist of 12 teams to allow for more variety in playoff teams. Another big change coming in college football is about conference realignment. Although Washington just won the PAC 12 championship, it will never be done again. Every PAC 12 team has been realigned to a new conference where they will compete for the foreseeable future. Washington will be joining the BIG10 where the Wolverines currently reside. Potentially this could lead to a championship rematch in the coming years.

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