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Key player for Michigan in National Championship vs. Washington

We go over which key player needs to step up in order for the Wolverines to win the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Michigan Plays Alabama In The 110th Rose Bowl Game In Pasadena Photo by Will Lester/MediaNews Group/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images

After the Michigan Wolverines defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide overtime in the Rose Bowl, they are headed to the college football championship game on Monday, January 8. They will face the undefeated Washington Huskies. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Michigan vs. Washington National Championship

Wolverines Key Player: Blake Corum, RB

Corum missed the chance to compete in last year’s College Football Playoff semifinal after injuring his knee, but he made quite the statement in the Wolverines’ Rose Bowl win. Not only did he break Michigan’s school record for career rushing touchdowns, he scored the winning TD of the game in OT.

While his 2023 was not quite as productive as his 2022 season, he finished the year with over 1,100 rushing yards, 117 receiving yards, and 26 touchdowns. The Michigan offense will center around Corum as they attempt to defeat the Huskies. Washington’s rushing defense is decent — they allow an average of 137.1 yards per game, ranking 41st in the nation. However, they largely faced pass-heavy Pac-12 air raid offenses this season, and Michigan’s Corum-centered approach will be a new ball game for them. The Huskies allowed Texas running back CJ Baxter 64 yards and a touchdown in the Sugar Bowl, and let up 59 yards and a touchdown from Jaydon Blue.

The honorable mention for Michigan’s key player goes to the Wolverines’ defensive line, who will need to put pressure on Heisman finalist Michael Penix and contain Washington’s high-powered passing attack. They recorded six sacks against Jalen Milroe.