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Michigan Defeats Washington 34-13 to Win College Football Playoff National Championship - McCarthy Says a Key to Success was Staying Present

Alan Kornspan

Believeland Media

The University of Michigan Wolverines defeated the University of Washington Huskies, 34-13, to win the College Football Playoff National Championship.

For the University of Michigan football program, this was their first national championship since 1997 and their twelfth national championship in program history.

“Glorious win, I could not be prouder or happier of our team, 15-0. Took on all comers. Last one standing. It's a great feeling,” said Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.

Although Michigan started quickly by taking an early 17-3 lead, Washington got to within seven points at 20-13 midway through the third quarter.  

The score remained 20-13 until midway through the fourth quarter when Michigan pulled away at the end of the game, scoring two touchdowns in the final eight minutes to seal the victory.

Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy said that a main key to success in the National Championship Game was staying in the moment, taking one play at a time and trying not to dwell on previous mistakes.

“We started off really hot,” said McCarthy.
“Everything was clicking. But I feel like we got to points in the game where we were beating ourselves. I was missing throws. I was missing some reads. And it just comes down to moving on to the next play, flushing the last play, and just staying in the present moment and just trying to attack one play at a time.”

As McCarthy mentioned, the Wolverines started quickly.

Michigan got on the scoreboard first when Donovan Edwards took a handoff 41 yards for a touchdown. After the extra point, UM led 7-0 with 10:14 left in the first quarter.

Washington then got the ball and went on a 14-play, 67-yard drive which culminated in a 25-yard field goal to make the score 7-3 with 3:56 left in the first quarter. 

The Wolverines answered right away as Donovan Edwards scored his second touchdown of the first quarter on a 46-yard touchdown run as Michigan took a 14-3 lead with 2:23 left in the first quarter.

The Wolverines added a field goal with 13:28 left in the second quarter to take a 17-3 lead over the Huskies.

Later in the second quarter, the Huskies defense got a big stop on 4th and 2 at their own 38 with 4:46 left in the first half.

After the Huskies got the ball back, they went on a 11-play 61 yard drive. In fact, the Huskies converted a 4th and goal from the Michigan three yard line when Michael Pennix Jr. connected with Jalen McMillen for a touchdown with 42 seconds left in the half.  After Washington converted the extra point, they trailed 17-10 going into halftime.

At the start of the third quarter, Michigan had a big interception on the first play of the half. The Washington defense, however, was able to hold Michigan to a 38-yard field goal as the Wolverines went up 20-10 with 11:55 left in the third quarter.

Washington then answered Michigan's field goal with a field goal of their own to get back to within seven points at 20-13 with 8:58 left in the third quarter.  

The score remained 20-13 until midway through the fourth quarter when Michigan's Blake Corum scored on a 12-yard touchdown run. After the successful extra point, Michigan led 27-13 with 7:09 left in the game. 

Michigan went up by three touchdowns, 34-13, with 3:33 left in the game when Corum scored on a one-yard touchdown run.

Throughout the contest, Michigan dominated the game on the ground as they gained over 300 yards rushing.  Also, Michigan outgained Washington in total yards, 443 to 301.

For the game, the Wolverines were led by running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards.  Corum had 21 carries for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Edwards had six carries for 104 yards, and two touchdowns.

Also, quarterback JJ McCarthy was 10-18 for 140 yards passing. 

With the victory, the University of Michigan wins the final national championship of the 4-team College Football Playoff. Next season will bring the start of the College Football 12-team Playoffs.



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