away late to win Monday's national championship game 34-13 and end 2023 unbeaten in NCAA football.
Michigan won its first national title since it shared the 1997 crown. This concludes a turbulent year that saw head coach Jim Harbaugh suspended twice for six of Michigan's 15 games. “It feels amazing. This is all I have to say "Harbaugh stated after the game.
On Monday night, Michigan running back Blake Corum sealed the game as he did in the Rose Bowl. His 12-yard TD run with 7:09 left gave Michigan a two-touchdown advantage and ruined Washington's comeback hopes.
Michigan (15-0) appeared to pull away with the contest in the first quarter. Literally. As Donovan Edwards scored two long touchdowns, the Wolverines ran for 174 yards in the first quarter, averaging almost 19 yards per carry.
On Michigan's first possession, Edwards ran for 41 yards and added a 46-yard TD less than eight minutes later. A rushing back who struggled in 2023 after a great 2022 season made those huge plays. injured late in the season last year and was explosive. He had only 393 yards into Monday night's final game and averaged fewer than four yards per rush.
Michigan led 17-3 before halftime on to Edwards' TD runs, but Washington scored a critical TD. On fourth down with less than a minute left, Michael Penix Jr. hit Jalen McMillan for a touchdown to trim the Wolverines' halftime advantage to seven.
Washington (14-1) started the second half with the ball and might tie the game despite being outplayed by Michigan. However, Will Johnson intercepted Penix's tipped pass on the first play of the second half when his right ankle twisted awkwardly.
After that, the game was nasty until Corum's TD. Before Corum's TD, the clubs had two field goals on eight drives. Michigan rushed for 303 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries. Both Corum and Edwards scored twice. J.J. McCarthy completed 10 of 18 throws for 140 yards.
The triumph will vindicate Michigan supporters following the 2023 season's drama. In the COVID-19 dead period, Harbaugh self-imposed a three-game ban at the start of the season for recruiting infractions.
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