HOUSTON — Michigan won the 2024 CFP National Championship Game on Monday night with a 34-13 win over the Washington Huskies. They were led by their ground duo of Blake Corum and Donavan Edwards, who both had over 100 yards rushing, two touchdowns each, and combined for 238 of the team’s 443 yards of total offense.
Here’s how it all went down at NRG Stadium on Monday Night!
Washington won the toss and elected to defer to the second half.
Michigan received the opening kickoff at the three-yard line. Semaj Morgan returned it 13 yards to set up the Wolverines at their own 16 to get the opening drive started. JJ McCarthy opened the game with an eight-yard completion to Cornelius Johnson. After back-to-back rushes, McCrthy hit Johnson again for ten yards to put UM across midfield. Two plays later, McCarthy would take his first sack of the game to make it a 2nd and 14. The next play was a handoff to Donavan Edwards, who took it to the left sideline and broke free for 41 yards and the game-opening score. This made it 7-0 Wolverines with just 4:38 expired in the game.
The Huskies opening drive started from their 25-yard line and would choose a handoff to Dillon Johnson, who took it for a six-yard gainer. Michael Penix Jr. would then connect with Jalen McMillan for an 11-yard gainer. Penix Jr. would continue to lead a methodical drive down to the 10-yard line, where they were set up with a 1st and goal. However, things would stall out, and the Huskies would even take two of their timeouts on the opening drive. After taking their 2nd on 3rd and goal, an incompletion wold follow and they had to settle for a 25-yard Grady Gross field goal to make it 7-3 with 3:59 left in the 1st quarter.
The Wolverine’s second possession started at their own 17-yard line. On the second play from scrimmage, McCarthy connected with Roman Wilson to the right sideline for a 37-yard gainer, pushing into Washington territory. Two plays later, Edwards took the handoff up the middle and broke free for a 46-yard TD scamper to make it 14-3 with 2:31 left in the 1st quarter.
Penix Jr. and the Huskies would suffer a quick three-and-out on their second possession. Then the Wolverines went right back to work, putting on a clinic. Blake Corum would take a handoff up the middle 59 yards on the first play from scrimmage. This setup UM at the Huskies 20-yard line and ended the 1st quarter. Two plays later, on 3rd and four from the 14-yard line, McCarthy as unable to connect with Johnson and they would settle for a 32-yard James Turner field goal. This made it 17-3 Michigan with 13:28 left in the 1st half.
The Huskies were then set up at their 25-yard line, and Penix Jr. connected with Rome Odunze for a quick first down on a 10-yard completion. Shortly thereafter they would face a 4th and 7 at the Michigan 47 yard line. Penix Jr. would overshoot Odunze, who was wide open. This forced a turnover on downs.
Michigan’s ensuing possession would result in a quick three-and-out, showcasing the Husky’s first true stand of the game.
Penix Jr. and Washington would be set up at their 25-yard line. On the first play, Penix Jr. would take an 11-yard sack. On 3rd and 21 at the nine-yard line, Penix Jr. would throw to his check down, Dillon Johnson, who took it for a 15-yard gain, short of the first down. Huskies punted away for the 2nd time of the evening to this point.
Michigan would go for it on 4th down on their ensuing possession and be unable to convert. This set the Huskies at their own 39-yard line, and Penix Jr. got to work. After a six-yard scamper from Dillon, Penix Jr. connected with Jack Westover for 10 yards. He would then connect with Odunze and Westover again to make it a 1st and ten at the 23-yard line.
A pass interference call against Mike Sainristl set up the Huskies at the eight-yard line with a 1st and goal. They would then face a 3rd and goal at the five yard line. However, the Wolverines would take their final timeout of the half ahead of the play. Out of the timeout, Penix Jr. was in the shotgun, took the snap, and rolled out to his right for a two-yard gain. This set up a 4th and goal at the three, and the Husky’s offense stayed on the field to go for it. Penix Jr. would find Jalen McMillan for the three-yard score. This made it 17-10 Michigan with 42 seconds left to play in the 1st half.
At the half, it was a 17-10 Wolverines lead.
The Wolverines had 290 yards of total offense compared to just 160 from the Huskies. The air attack was all the Huskies could lean on in the first half, with only 32 rushing yards. The story was the opposite for Michigan, with just 82 yards passing and 209 yards rushing.
The Huskies would start with possession, and on the first play, Penix Jr. would be picked off by Will Johnson.
“This man, Will Johnson, talked at halftime we’ve got to get this momentum back. And darned if we don’t get it back the first play of the second half. Pull it down. That was phenomenal.” said Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.
This set up the Wolverines at the UW 32 with a chance to pull away again. However, Michigan wouldn’t be able to progress the ball and would settle for a 38-yard field goal from Turner.
Penix Jr. then erased the interception from his memory as he led the Huskies down the field on a scoring drive. They wouldn’t get into the endzone, however a 45 yard field goal from Grady Gross would cut it once again to a one score game with 9:02 left to play in the 3rd.
The Huskies defense would then stand tall and force a punt. This gave Penix Jr. and crew the ball at their own 26-yard line down one score. On first down, he hit Westover for five yards and then found Ja’Lynn Polk for 11. However, three plays later, he was facing a 3rd and 15 at the 37. He would try to drop one in for Odunze, but it was too far outside, and the pass fell incomplete. The Huskies punted and pinned the Wolverines back at the seven-yard line.
After back-to-back stuffs up the middle, Michigan faced a 3rd and eight at the nine-yard line. McCarthy took the snap from the gun, the middle opened up, and he made a break for it for a 22-yard gain. They would face another 3rd down, this time a 3rd and ten at their 43. McCarthy would connect with Roman Wilson for a five-yard gain. This forced a punt and gave the Huskies possession after the punt at their own 11-yard line.
The drive would bleed into the 4th quarter as they were set up with a 3rd and four at their 29-yard line. Penix Jr. took the snap from the gun, and he threw an incomplete pass, forcing the Huskies to punt.
Michigan would start at their 16-yard line and quickly be escorted to the sidelines after a quick three-and-out. The Huskies would then be set up 1st and ten at their 33-yard line with 11:52 left to play in the 4th.
On 1st down, Penix Jr. tried to find Polk, but it dropped. He then dropped in a dime downfield 32 yards to Odunze, however, a holding penalty was called making it 2nd and 20. The following play was just a two-yard completion. This made it 3rd and 18, and Penix Jr. found Johnson for a nine-yard gain. That would force them to punt on 4th and nine.
McCarthy would then lead a lightning strike of a drive, just five plays for 71 yards, highlighted by an opening drive, a 41-yard strike to Colston Loveland. Corum would finish things off with a two-yard score to make it 27-13 with 7:09 left to play.
As the Huskies got underway on a 1st and ten at the 25, Penix threw a dime to Odunze for 44 yards. This set up UW the Michigan 27. with 6:18 left to play. Things would then stall out, and the Huskies would be faced with a 4th and 13 at the 30. Penix Jr. would take the snap from the shotgun, looked downfield, and throw it to Odunze at the five-yard line. However, it was picked off by Jalen McMillan, who went off to the races the other way, taking it 81 yards to the UW eight-yard line.
Two plays later, Corum took it in for the score to further solidify this one at 34-13 with 3:31 left to play.
Washington would get one last drive in. However, it would result in a turnover on downs, as they failed to convert on a 4th and 10 at their own 31. A few kneeldowns later, and this chapter in the story was over.
The Michigan Wolverines were 15-0 and National Champions
Michigan finished with 443 yards of total offense, with Blake Corum being named the offensive player of the game. He had 21 carries for 134 yards and two TD’s on the ground. Additionally, his runningback counterpart, Donovan Edwards, had 104 yards on six carries and two TDs of his own. Will Johnson was named the defensive player of the game, headed by his opening second-half interception.
It marks the Wolverines’ 10th National Title in school history and their 1004th win in program history, the most ever in the history of College Football.