With scandals, interim head coaches, players returning for a final season and more, Michigan overcame everything this season to go undefeated and become champions.
The first drive for the Wolverines looked effortless. Blake Corum and Kalel Mullings ran the ball with ease, with Corum picking up 11 yards on two carries and Mullings breaking one for 14 yards. After a few quick passes to Cornelius Johnson as well, Donovan Edwards broke a big run for 41 yards to get Michigan quickly on the scoreboard. 7-0 Michigan
The Huskies came out on their first drive throwing the ball wherever they wanted. Michael Penix Jr. hit three different receivers for a 10+-yard completion, and Dillon Johnson and Jalen McMillan combined for 23 rushing yards to get to the eight-yard line. With a big third down on the line, Penix missed Rome Odunze in the end zone and had to settle for a field goal on the Huskies’ opening drive. 7-3 Michigan
Michigan came out firing on offense once again, putting together a four-play drive that started with a 37-yard completion to Roman Wilson and ended with a 46-yard Edwards touchdown run. 14-3 Michigan
After Mike Sainristil made an open field tackle on third down to force a Washington punt, Corum took an inside handoff for 59 yards to the Huskies’ 20-yard line to end the first quarter.
Starting in the red zone to open the second quarter, Michigan couldn’t get another first down and was forced to kick a field goal, extending the lead to 14. 17-3 Michigan
After both offenses went stagnant for 14 minutes, the Huskies put together their first strong offensive drive of the game. They went 61 yards on 11 plays, capping it off with a three-yard touchdown to Jalen McMillan on fourth down. 17-10 Michigan
With all of the momentum with Washington coming out of halftime, Penix got hit while throwing the ball on the first play in the second half, which ended up in the hands of Will Johnson.
Off the turnover, however, two false start penalties backed the Wolverines up too far to do anything substantial. James Turner kicked another field goal to extend Michigan’s lead to 10. 20-10 Michigan
On the ensuing drive, the Huskies turned a 14-yard screen into a 29-yard gain after Makari Paige was called for a late hit penalty after the play. Just like the Wolverines, though, Washington was not able to move the ball much further, so Huskies’ kicker Grady Gross kicked a 45-yard field goal to cut the deficit to seven once again. 20-13 Michigan
After the offense went stagnant for two and a half quarters, Michigan finally got some offense working again midway through the fourth quarter, hitting Colston Loveland for 41 yards and finishing the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run by Corum. With seven minutes remaining and the Wolverines up by 14 points, that touchdown looked to be a dagger. 27-13 Michigan
While the Huskies drove down the field in an attempt to quickly stay in the game, a crucial fourth and 13 ended in a Mike Sainristil interception, who brought the ball back to the Washington 11-yard-line.
A few plays later, Corum ran the ball in from the one-yard line for the touchdown to put Michigan up by 21 with under four minutes remaining. 34-13 Michigan
With the deficit too large to overcome, the Wolverines hung on and won the 2023-2024 College Football National Championship.