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Michigan Pulls Away Late to Beat Washington, Win First National Championship in 26 Years

The Michigan Wolverines took down the Washington Huskies 34–13 to win their first national championship in 26 years on Monday night.

Right out of the gate, it looked as though the Wolverines might ride their rushing attack to a dominant win. On Michigan’s very first possession, running back Donovan Edwards broke free for a 41-yard score, and followed that up with a 46-yard breakaway on the next drive, helping the Wolverines jump out to a 14–3 lead in the first quarter.

Michigan finished the first quarter with a stunning 174 yards on the ground.

Michigan would add another field goal, and after Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. missed a wide open Rome Odunze on fourth down near midfield, it looked as though Washington might be down for the count.

But the Huskies found their footing. After forcing a three-and-out and turnover on downs from Michigan on their next two drives, Penix connected with wide receiver Jalen McMillan just before halftime to cut the deficit to 17–10 before halftime, with Washington set to receive the opening kickoff of the second half.

But Michigan refused to let the Huskies keep momentum for long, picking off Penix on the very first play of the second half.

Both defenses stepped up in the third quarter, but eventually, the Wolverines broke through, with running back Blake Corum scoring the touchdown that made it a two-score game midway through the fourth quarter.

The Michigan defense would add an exclamation point to the evening on the ensuing drive. With Washington facing fourth-and-13 in Wolverines territory, Penix was picked off by defensive back Mike Sainristil, who nearly took the interception all the way back to the house.

Corum would soon add a second touchdown to his night, giving Michigan a 34–13 lead that proved good enough to secure the Wolverines their first national championship since 1997.