Five Keys To The Michigan v Washington National Championship Game

In the last round of the four-team FBS playoff, the Michigan Wolverines and Washington Huskies square off this Monday night in Houston as the only two undefeated teams. Despite not having faced an offense like Washington’s, Michigan boasts the greatest defense in the nation. Despite having the most effective passing attack in the nation, the Huskies haven’t faced a defense quite like Michigan’s. Although there are other keys, this seems to be the most important one for the game.

Keys to the CFP National Championship

Michigan’s Offense

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy had a very efficient game in The Rose Bowl against Alabama. going 17/21 passing for 221 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. However, even though McCarthy needs to avoid the turnovers against Washington, the Wolverines’ best offensive strategy is to run, run, and run some more.

Running back Blake Corum ought to get at least 30 carries on this day. In addition, running back Donovan Edwards must improve following a lackluster campaign. This is a game where having a reliable receiving threat out of the backfield will be important.

Simply put, the goal must be to win the time of possession fight while keeping Michael Penix, Jr., his three NFL-ready receivers, and his two outstanding tight ends on the sidelines, as excellent as their defense is. And boy, is it good.

Michigan’s Defense

Pressure, pressure, pressure. The Wolverines’ defense has to make Penix, Jr. uncomfortable. Make his passing lanes difficult to see and make him throw the ball before he wants to. All three stud receivers, Rome Odunze, Jalen McMillan, and Ja’Lynn Polk, have the size to go and beat this secondary. That’s not a slight on the Wolverines’ back-end players, it’s just not a recipe for success to allow this to happen.

Dillon Johnson, a running back for the Huskies, suffered an injury extremely late in the semifinal match versus Texas. Despite the apparent severity of his injury, he says he will play. He will obviously not be at full strength, so Michigan’s defense shouldn’t be as concerned about him as they would be in a typical situation.

In addition to their three elite wide receivers, Washington also fielded two very competent tight ends in Devin Culp and Jack Westover. They must be taken seriously or they will do harm. But once more, the secret is to apply constant pressure to Penix, Jr. It was an awful Arizona State team. Can the blue-clad men?

Washington’s Offense

Release the ball quickly and rhythmically. Use Dillon Johnson, the injured running back, sufficiently to force Michigan to consider him.

The Wolverines may become frustrated by short passes to Westover and Culp to keep the chains moving, which will free up space for the big three wideouts to pass downfield. Being a receiving machine, especially during crucial games, makes Westover very challenging to handle. Penix, Jr. only needs to rush for a first down every six to eight yards on occasion. That’s about all the ground work he needs to accomplish. In any case, he will slip well before making a long run. The Huskies’ ability to call plays will be crucial to achieving these objectives and destabilizing the Michigan defense.

Washington’s Defense

Statistically, this is not a great unit. While they have shut down poor offenses during the course of this unbeaten campaign, they have been vulnerable against good offenses.

Positively, the defense of the Huskies has produced huge stops and turnovers each time they’ve needed to to win. I take it you watched the Texas game?When the Wolverines pass on first down, Bralen Trice and Zion Tupuola-Fetui will need to force Michigan’s quarterback to the ground. By doing this, Michigan will find itself in long-yardage scenarios, rendering Corum irrelevant in some series.

Washington will never, ever want to behind in this game and give Michigan’s potent rushing attack the advantage over the clock, which would limit the Huskies’ offensive options.

Special Teams & Coaching

Punters and kickers on both teams are passable but not excellent. Semaj Morgan ran a punt back for 87 yards against Iowa in the BIG championship game, but he muffed one against Alabama, giving Michigan the impression that they had acquired an explosive kick returner. Subsequently, Jake Thaw nearly lost the game after tripping and falling at his own one-yard line. Both sides are expected to support fair catches in order to gain possession and allow their attack to seize the lead.

We have an extremely intriguing coaching matchup as well. Despite never winning the championship, Michigan native Jim Harbaugh has enjoyed success in every setting, including college and the NFL. The NFL rumors are rampant, so this might be his final opportunity at Michigan.

Kalen DeBoer, the head coach of the Huskies, is a true college coach. Three NAIA championships were won by his former clubs. He has also spent his time as a coordinator in the past. The main point is that we shouldn’t expect him to know since he hasn’t blinked during a critical moment before. It appears that the coaching matchup is close.

Take a seat, unwind, and enjoy. This one ought to be excellent.

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