The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Washington Huskies 34-13 to win the College Football Playoff National Championship for the 2023 season.
The College Football Playoff National Championship win was the first for the Wolverines, who also claim 11 additional national titles (1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1918, 1923, 1932, 1933, 1947, 1948, and 1997). Michigan finished 15-0 overall, which includes a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl Game victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Michigan opened the title game on Monday evening with an eight-play, 84-yard drive that was capped off by a 41-yard touchdown scamper by Donovan Edwards. Washington answered with a field goal, but Michigan’s ensuing drive ended with another long Donovan Edwards touchdown run, this one from 46 yards.
The Wolverines would later add a field goal of their own before the Huskies’ Dillon Johnson rushed for a touchdown from six yards out. After exchanging possessions with no scores, the half ended with Michigan leading 17-10.
Washington wouldn’t draw any closer than that seven-point halftime deficit.
The Huskies got the ball first in the second half, but a Michael Penix Jr. pass was intercepted on the very first play. Michigan would then connect on another field goal to stretch its lead to 20-10.
Following a Washington field goal to make it 20-13, both the Wolverines and Huskies punted on their next three possessions each. Michigan’s Blake Corum then scored on a 12-yard run to break the drought and extend their advantage to 27-13.
Washington’s ensuing drive resulted in another Penix interception, which then led to a one-yard touchdown run by Blake Corum that sealed the game and the national championship for Michigan.
College football’s final game of the season was played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, before an announced crowd of 72,808. It was the first College Football Playoff National Championship played in Houston and second played in the state of Texas.
The 2023 season was the last for Washington in the Pac-12 Conference. The Huskies will officially join the Big Ten Conference on July 1, 2024 and are scheduled to host Michigan in a conference matchup at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on Oct. 5, 2024.