The Michigan Wolverines and head coach John Harbaugh won their first national championship since 1997, but it did not come without controversy.
Michigan hopped out to an early lead after some big running plays, and the Huskies were forced to play from behind for the entirety of the game. Washington could not catch up as quarterback Michael Penix could not make the throws he was making in the College Football Playoff semifinal game.
The Michigan Wolverines got away with some egregious holds
Before the controversial holding calls that went against the Washington Huskies, the Michigan Wolverines got away with some obvious holds. These holds propelled a couple of big plays for the Wolverines.
Refs missed a hold on Michigan’s biggest pass play of the night pic.twitter.com/lV9ZtLRji2
— Connor O’Gara (@cjogara) January 9, 2024
WOW: THE REFS MISS A CLEAR HOLD ON MICHIGAN’s 41 yard touchdown
Would have never happened 😳😳😳
— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) January 9, 2024
Holding called on Washington and not on this Jesus… pic.twitter.com/MbDUO9ECO7
— Jimbo Jones (@donal34801933) January 9, 2024
These controversial non-calls allowed Michigan to dominate the game on the offensive side of the ball. The Wolverines eclipsed the 300-yard mark on the ground, while Washington only had 46 yards rushing.
Michigan also had 140 yards passing, which contributed to their 443 yards of total offense. The Washington Huskies only had 301 yards of total offense, and a lot of those yards were taken away on a controversial holding penalty
The Washington Huskies had a chance to make the game closer, but controversial holding calls stopped them
One controversial holding call against the Washington Huskies came on one of the biggest passing plays of the night. Quarterback Michael Penix completed a pass that would’ve set the Huskies up in Michigan territory with a chance to tie the game.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 9, 2024
Instead of tying the game, Washington’s drive was killed and they were forced to give the ball back to Michigan. Another controversial call came with Washington deep in Michigan territory.
They would’ve gotten a pass interference call to set them up in the red zone, but a controversial holding call offset the penalties. This caused them to try a 4th and 13 again, which they failed to convert. Fans are not happy with the result.
And when they absolutely HAD to call PI down at the end zone, then of course they called offsetting penalties.
— DJKinUSA (@DJKinUSA1) January 9, 2024
Big play for UM and all of the sudden refs blind. As soon as there is penalty to the detriment of UM all of sudden offsetting penalties. Get real.
— Eli Lennon (@lennoneli61) January 9, 2024
Questionable based on how they’ve been calling the game. Same goes for the offsetting PI penalty. Hold was questionable but more a hold there than here
— Aaron Mungillo (@zyxaaron) January 9, 2024