DeBoer: Huskies ‘weren’t that far off’ in CFP loss
Kyle Bonagura, ESPN Personnel WriterJan 9, 2024, 01:12 AM ET
- Covers the Pac-12.
- Joined ESPN in 2014.
- Participated In Washington State University.HOUSTON– Even after
No. 2 Washington fell short in Monday’s College Football Playoff Championship game game, losing 34-13 to Michigan, Huskies coach Kalen DeBoer left convinced his group was good enough to win the title.”I know what the score looks like, however I feel like that great line was right there once again tonight and we weren’t that away,”DeBoer stated.”There’s not a doubt in my mind that we have a good enough football team to head out there and win a championship game and just got to make a play here and there, get us over the hump and could have been a various result.” After Washington fell back
17-3 early in the 2nd quarter, there was a sense inside NRG Arena that Michigan was on its way to a thrashing. The Wolverines’running game appeared unstoppable, while their defense prevented quarterback Michael Penix Jr. from finding any sort of a rhythm.But the Huskies stemmed the tide. They cut the deficit to a goal heading into halftime and were set to receive the kick to start the second half. For as one-sided as the game had been to that point– with Michigan balancing 12.3 yards per rush– Washington had factor to be optimistic.It wasn’t an unusual position for the Huskies to be in. They hardly ever trailed all season, however their final 10 wins of the season– from Oct. 1 on– were all close in the second half. It had actually instilled a belief they might develop a huge play when it mattered most.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated This time, though, it didn’t take place.
“They’re an excellent
team. We simply didn’t perform in the minutes when we required to,”Penix said. “It’s just about carrying out. I don’t seem like they did anything– I seem like we beat ourselves. “And there were times we definitely had opportunities to make big-time plays, to make the game a lot different.”Penix, who ended up second in the Heisman Prize voting this season and has actually been a discovery in his
2 seasons given that moving from Indiana, put the blame on himself. He tossed an interception on UW’s very first play of the 2nd half, resulting in a Michigan field goal, and– aside from one basket drive– was kept in check the remainder of the way.Four times in the 2nd half, UW had the ball trailing by one rating, and none of those drives led to points.
“I think even simply a two-score game, it has actually occurred a couple times over the last two seasons, “DeBoer said.” And I keep telling them the game’s going to come back to them, and putting another rating on the board is constantly going to put pressure on the group since they understand what we’re capable of.”We just couldn’t make that a person play here, and when we did, a charge, perhaps bringing the play back, a holding call, things
like that. We simply could not overcome the hump. We couldn’t end up the drive the manner in which we’re utilized to.”Much of that is a credit to Michigan, which completed the season with the nation’s best scoring defense( 10.4 points per game ). The Wolverines got consistent pressure on Penix, and when they did, he was just 5-of-16 for 67 yards with a set of interceptions.Penix completed the game 27-of-51 for 255 lawns, which was his third-fewest passing lawns in a game this season. However, it was also the second-most passing backyards the Wolverines permitted this season, behind the 271 they allowed to Ohio State.The Huskies remained in near-desperation mode when Penix threw his 2nd interception– down 14 on fourth-and-13 with 4:29 left– and were completely sunk after Mike Sainristil returned it 81 lawns to the Washington 8,
enabling Blake Corum to score 2 plays later.Washington(14-1), playing in its last game as a Pac-12 school before departing for the Big Ten next season, had actually been attempting to win its first national championship given that 1991, when it shared the title with Miami. The Huskies’national-best 21-game winning streak