Washington Huskies Fall Short in College Football Playoff National Championship against Michigan

Houston, TX – Despite a crushing defeat in the College Football Playoff National Championship game, Washington Huskies coach Kalen DeBoer remains convinced that his team had what it takes to win the title. After losing 34-13 to Michigan, DeBoer reflected on the game, saying, “I know what the score looks like, but I feel like that fine line was right there again tonight and we weren’t that far off.”

In the early stages of the game, with Washington falling behind 17-3 in the second quarter, it seemed like Michigan was headed for an easy victory. The Wolverines’ dominant running game and stifling defense prevented Washington’s quarterback Michael Penix Jr. from finding a rhythm. However, the Huskies managed to rally and reduce the deficit to a touchdown by halftime.

Throughout the season, Washington was accustomed to close games in the second half, often coming out on top. This gave them a belief that they could make a crucial play when it mattered most. Unfortunately, in the championship game, they couldn’t execute when it counted. Penix, who finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting this season, took responsibility for the loss, stating, “It’s just about executing. I don’t feel like they did anything—I feel like we beat ourselves.”

Despite multiple opportunities in the second half, Washington failed to score on four drives when trailing by one score. Coach DeBoer acknowledged the team’s struggle to finish drives, lamenting penalties and missed opportunities. He praised Michigan’s defense, which boasted the best scoring defense in the nation, and acknowledged the pressure they applied to Penix.

In the end, the Huskies’ dreams of winning their first national championship since 1991 were dashed by Michigan’s formidable defense. Penix finished the game with 27-of-51 completions for 255 yards, but his two interceptions proved costly. Washington’s 21-game winning streak came to an end as they fell short of securing the championship title.

Washington, playing in its final game as a Pac-12 school before moving to the Big Ten next season, gave it their all. Although disappointed, the team and coach remain proud of their achievements throughout the season. Despite the loss, they firmly believe they had the potential to emerge as champions.