5 things to watch for Michigan football vs. Washington in CFP National Championship

Michigan football will play Washington in Houston on Monday night and here are five things to watch.

Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages
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Following a program-defining win by Michigan football in the Rose Bowl, the Wolverines are one win away from their first national championship since 1997.

You almost have to pinch yourself to believe it's a reality. But nobody should be surprised by what this team did in the Rose Bowl. The Wolverines have overcome so many obstacles, that a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit was just another hurdle.

As strength coach Ben Herbert has been quoted as saying, "Whatever we gotta do, then that's what we're gonna do."

This is a team on a mission. It feels like a team of destiny, but Washington surely feels that way about itself too. The Huskies are 14-0 and they have Michael Penix Jr. who should have won the Heisman Trophy.

Michigan football is a 4.5-point favorite according to DraftKings and here are five things to watch for the national championship game.

Can Washington handle Blake Corum?

Many will ask if the Michigan defense can stop Michael Penix Jr. That's a fair question but will the Huskies be able to stop Blake Corum?

Washington is 14-0 for a reason but their defense has been shoddy at times. The Huskies allow more than 400 yards per game as well as 4.4 yards per carry. Some of that is having a wide-open offense, which leads to wide open games.

But after limiting Blake Corum's attempts all season, he looked as fresh as ever in the Rose Bowl. His 17-yard touchdown run against Alabama was the best run of his career and I still don't know how he made that jump cut.

Corum was saved this season for games like this. Washington has struggled all year to stop the run and even though Michigan hasn't run the ball as well as it did in 2021 or 2022, U-M ran for over 130 yards against Penn State, Alabama, and Ohio State.

If you can run of those teams, you should be able to run on anybody and I wonder if Corum gets 25-30 carries on Monday night. The best way to stop Penix, after all, might be to keep him on the sideline as much as possible.