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Takeaways from Michigan’s national championship win over Washington

Michigan won the biggest prize of them all.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 08 CFP National Championship - Michigan vs Washington Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Michigan Wolerines are national champions after beating the Washington Huskies 34-13 on Monday night. Here are key takeaways from the game.

Rushing attack leads the charge for Michigan’s offense

Michigan rushed for the most yards in a championship game in the BCS/CFP era with 303. Donovan Edwards came through in the biggest game of his life with two first quarter touchdowns — the first went for 41 yards and the second from 46. On both plays it looked like Edwards was going to get stopped in the backfield but Edwards then proceeded to bounce the runs to the outside and he was off to the races with his elite speed. Edwards finished with 104 rushing yards and the two rushing scores. Blake Corum got his licks in as well, rushing for 134 yards and two pivotal fourth quarter touchdowns to turn a 20-13 Michigan lead into a 34-13 Michigan advantage. Corum finished with 134 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.

While Corum and Edwards had excellent stats, they wouldn’t have got them without excellent blocking from Michigan’s offensive line as the game wore on. Drake Nugent and Trevor Keegan were bashing dudes. Michigan showed time and time again this season that they’re the more physical offense and better conditioned one in the trenches, and the same could be said on Monday night against Washington.

Colston Loveland’s huge catch swing momentum back to Michigan

Michigan had a 20-13 lead in the fourth quarter but the lead felt anything but secure — enter Colston Loveland. J.J. McCarthy threw a pass in the middle of the field where Loveland hauled it in, stumbled momentarily before regaining his balance and then taking it up north with speed for 41 yards.

This huge catch put Michigan in field goal range, but the Wolverines wouldn’t settle for a field goal — Blake Corum would score from 12 yards out to put Michigan up 27-13.

Michigan’s defense proves they’re the best in the nation

Michigan’s offense went 1-of-10 on third down, but Michigan’s defense limited Washington’s success on their down as well, the Huskies were jut 2-of-14 on third down. The defense made life hard on Washington QB Michael Penix Jr., who was the most prolific passer in college football this season. Penix Jr. was 27-of-51 for 255 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Washington had just 46 yards rushing, Mike Sainristil had an epic interception in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, and Will Johnson had a great pick at the start of the third quarter. It was as cohesive of an effort as it gets against a high flying attack like Washington.

Michigan rose above the noise

This is a shoutout to all the people who wished for Michigan’s demise this season. Stephen A. Smith, Paul Finebaum, Pete Thamel, Ohio State slappies and beyond. Michigan had to overcome a lot of vitriol by the masses and instead of caving to the pressure or allowing people such as these to alter the trajectory of their season they hunkered down, didn’t get bitter, but got better. The Michigan team and what they were able to accomplish showed what can be done when you don’t bow down to the masses and are unapologetically yourself. Congratulations to Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh. A true TEAM.