3 keys for Michigan football vs. Washington in College Football National Championship

What does Michigan football need to do to beat Washington? Here are three keys for the College Football National Championship.

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) is congratulated by
Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) is congratulated by / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Trip up the quarterback

This isn't going to be easy. Washington allowed just 11 sacks this season and won the Joe Moore Award for having the best offensive line, so putting pressure on Michael Penix Jr. will be much easier said than done.

Defensive coordinator Jesse Minter will need to put together another stellar game plan. He's held Ohio State under 30 in each of the past two meetings and held Alabama to 20. He's going to have to confuse Penix and to be fair, this defense is different than any other Penix has seen this season.

That's about more than talent -- it's about scheme. Michigan is great at giving quarterbacks different looks that they haven't seen. The Wolverines are also exceptional at playing the ball and making tackles after the catch.

But whether it's tricking Penix with different coverages or blitzes, the Wolverines have to find a way to get 3-4 stops on Monday night. Michigan's offense is going to shorten the game. My prediction is that each team gets about eight possessions. If U-M can execute that and force a punt, maybe a turnover, a couple of field goals, it can win.

Next. NEXT . 5 things to watch for Michigan vs. Washington . dark

You aren't going to stop Michael Penix and those wide receivers. Washington will pass for 300 yards, but can the Huskies hit 30? The first team to hit that number might win and if the Wolverines can defend the way they have against Ohio State, I like their chances.