Michigan wins School Soccer Playoff Nationwide Championship, downing Huskies 34-13

Blake Corum ran for 134 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns as Jim Harbaugh and No. 1 Michigan — undeterred by suspensions and a sign-stealing case that shadowed this system — accomplished a three-year climb to a nationwide championship by beating No. 2 Washington 34-13 Monday night time within the School Soccer Playoff title sport.

The Wolverines (15-0) sealed their first nationwide title since 1997 when Corum, who scored the successful landing in time beyond regulation in opposition to Alabama within the Rose Bowl semifinal, blasted in from the 1-yard line with 3:37 left to place Michigan up by 21 and set off one other rousing rendition of “The Victors.”

After 9 seasons teaching his alma mater and in his third consecutive playoff look, Harbaugh delivered the title so many anticipated when he took over a struggling powerhouse in 2015 — regardless of lacking six regular-season video games this season whereas serving separate suspensions.

And he did it with a staff his previous coach, Bo Schembechler, would have adored. The Wolverines ran for 303 yards in opposition to Washington (14-1), and their protection held Michael Penix Jr. and the Huskies’ prolific passing sport to only one landing whereas intercepting the Heisman Trophy runner-up twice.

“There are greater than 100 Michigan males who’re on this staff,” Harbaugh mentioned. “What they’ve completed is wonderful. They are going to without end be generally known as nationwide champions.”

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates after defeating the Washington Huskies through the 2024 CFP Nationwide Championship sport at NRG Stadium on January 08, 2024 in Houston, Texas. Michigan defeated Washington 34-13.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Photographs

Penix’s exceptional six-year school profession ended with perhaps his worst efficiency of the season. Normally unfazed by stress, Penix was not almost as exact in opposition to a Michigan protection that took away his signature deep throws.

Penix completed 27 for 51 for 255 yards and a landing.

Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy had a modest sport, throwing for 140 yards and working for 31. Nevertheless it was sufficient for him to enhance to 27-1 as a starter for the Wolverines.

Michigan gave Washington a style of life within the Massive Ten, the place the Pac-12 champions are heading subsequent season, and the Huskies have been up for the grind for some time.

Two lengthy landing runs by Donovan Edwards and 229 yards dashing within the first quarter put the Wolverines up 17-3 early within the second and conjured up recollections of final yr’s historic Georgia blowout of TCU.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 08 CFP National Championship - Michigan vs Washington
RB Donovan Edwards (7) of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates with TE Colston Loveland (18) after working for a landing within the first quarter in opposition to the Washington Huskies within the CFP Nationwide Championship sport on January 8, 2024, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs

Washington stabilized and did not enable the Wolverines one other level within the first half. After the Huskies stopped Michigan on a fourth-and-2 from the UW 38 with 4:46 left within the second quarter, Penix went to work.

He discovered Jalen McMillan on a fourth-and-goal with 42 seconds left for a 3-yard landing. After being on the verge of getting buried by the Wolverines, the Huskies followers sang alongside to “Who Let the Canines Out,” fortunately down 17-10 on the half.

Will Johnson’s interception of Penix on the primary play of the second half gave Michigan one other alternative to open up a two-touchdown lead, however the Huskies compelled one other discipline aim by James Turner to make it 20-10.

Michigan nursed a landing lead till midway via the fourth quarter, when it put collectively a 71-yard drive, capped by Corum’s tackle-breaking 12-yard landing that lastly gave the Wolverines some room with a 27-13 lead and seven:09 left.

Corum, the engine of ground-and-pound offense and coronary heart and soul of staff loaded with fourth-, fifth- and even sixth-year gamers, missed the CFP final yr with a knee harm. He was named offensive participant of the nationwide title sport within the last four-team School Soccer Playoff earlier than it expands to 12 groups subsequent yr.

“Michigan, that is for you,” Corum advised the Wolverines followers.

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts as he holds up the nationwide championship trophy after defeating the Washington Huskies through the 2024 CFP Nationwide Championship sport at NRG Stadium on January 08, 2024 in Houston, Texas. Michigan defeated Washington 34-13.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Photographs

Michigan appeared to be steaming towards a 3rd consecutive Massive Ten championship and playoff look when in October it was revealed the NCAA was investigating this system for doubtlessly breaking guidelines that prohibit in-person scouting of opponents and utilizing video gear to try decode opponents’ play alerts.

The scandal turned Connor Stalions, the low-level Michigan recruiting staffer accused of orchestrating the scheme, right into a family title and threatened to derail the Wolverines’ season. The NCAA course of will linger effectively into 2024 and it’s unknown what penalties Michigan may face. The Massive Ten, although, determined to behave extra rapidly and punished Michigan by suspending Harbaugh for the ultimate three video games of the common season, together with matchups with Penn State and rival Ohio State.

Michigan at first mentioned it will combat the penalties in court docket, however inside days backed down and accepted the punishment. The Wolverines have been undeterred. With offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore taking Harbaugh’s place, it turned Michigan vs. Everyone and no one may cease the Wolverines.

Harbaugh returned for the postseason, accomplished the mission and received to rejoice together with his father, Jack — himself a former school soccer coach — as he accepted the trophy.

“Who has it higher than us?” Jack Harbaugh requested the followers through the trophy ceremony. They replied with a boisterous: “No person!”

Now the query is whether or not Harbaugh has coached his alma mater for the final time, with the NFL seemingly beckoning the previous 49ers coach once more. 

Extra from CBS Information

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