The No. 2 Washington Huskies went down to New Orleans and took down the No. 3 Texas Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl on Monday, winning their semifinal matchup 37-31. Michael Penix Jr. threw for 430 yards while connecting star receivers Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk throughout the evening.
With the victory, Washington has advanced to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game next Monday, where they will face the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines. The Huskies will try to win their first national championship since 1991.
The party got started early in the first quarter when Penix hit Ja’Lynn Polk on a 77-yard bomb, setting up a two-yard touchdown run for Dillon Johnson to put Washington up 7-0. Texas immediately responded by driving down the field to set up a Jaydon Blue touchdown run to tie the game. It would be a tit-for-tat game on offense for the rest of the half with the two teams going into halftime tied 21-21.
The Huskies would once again fired off the first salvo in the second half when Penix connected with Jalen McMillan on a 19-yard score. A pair of field goals put them up 34-21 and they were teetering on the verge of putting the game to bed before an Adonai Mitchell touchdown reception brought the Longhorns back to within a score. The two teams traded field goals in the fourth and UW seemingly had the game on ice. But then things got a bit squirrely.
Driving late in the game, Texas burned its final timeout with 1:02 remaining. Facing 3rd and 5, the Huskies elected to run instead of kneel and running back Dillon Johnson got injured with 50 seconds left. That stopped the clock as the Longhorns declined the 10-second runoff. Washington took a false start penalty and a kick catch interference penalty gave Texas even better field position. Quinn Ewers was able to zoom his team down the field and got all the way down to the Washington 13 with 10 seconds left. However, they were unable to go any further as three straight incomplete passes ended the game.