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Jim Harbaugh explains how Michael Penix Jr. has the ‘it factor’

Penix Jr. is as dangerous as it gets.

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michael Penix Jr. was undoubtedly one of the best quarterbacks in the nation this season and finished as Heisman runner-up because of it. Penix Jr. leads the nation in passing yards with 4,648 and has thrown 35 touchdowns with nine interceptions.

When No. 1 Michigan (14-0) faces No. 2 Washington (14-0) in the national championship on Monday night, something will have to give against Penix Jr. versus the Michigan defense. Michigan ranks No. 2 in passing yards allowed and Washington ranks No. 1 in passing offense.

At the national championship media day on Saturday, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh detailed the threat that Penix Jr. presents.

The “it” factor that he has. He’s just got it. Next, just, like, no conscience. He’s got no conscience when he’s throwing one of those balls into the tightest window and the confidence that he can put it in there and his receivers are going to make a play. I mean, that’s scary good. As good as he is in the pocket, he’s deadly when he gets out of the pocket, too, in either direction. It’s formidable. It’s elite. And he’s got the “it” factor.

He’s got great arm talent. Can tell he’s a really cerebral guy. He knows. The next thing I would say is the real clock he has in his head. I mean, he gets in trouble, boom, it’s going to a check-down. He just sees the field, knows where everybody is at all times.

It’s an exciting match-up for our secondary. We think we’ve got a really good one. And then it’s got to coordinate with the pass rush, the discipline to keep him in the pocket because he’s deadly outside the pocket, too. So all those things.

Excited about the challenge. To be the best you’ve got to beat the best. All those things are what I think.

It’ll be a huge challenge for Michigan, but they’ve risen to the occasion time and time again this season despite pundits counting them out against teams such as Penn State, Ohio State, and Alabama. Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Michigan’s currently a 4.5-point favorite over Washington.

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