UW HUSKIES

Hold call looms large as UW Huskies lose to Michigan in CFP title game

Jan 8, 2024, 8:15 PM | Updated: 10:27 pm

After a week of anticipation that gripped the Pacific Northwest, everyone finally got the chance to see if the No. 2 UW Huskies’ high-flying offense has what it takes to beat the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines’ dominant defense.

Turns out that Michigan defense truly is the real deal, as it led the Wolverines to a 34-13 College Football Playoff National Championship win on Monday night in Houston, dashing the Dawgs’ hopes for a perfect season and the program’s first national championship in over 30 years.

That’s not quite the entire story of the game, though.

Michigan 34, UW Huskies 13: Caple’s Takeaways | Instant Reaction | Recap | Stats

First, let’s be clear that Michigan deserves every bit of credit for winning the game. The Wolverines started strong, finished stronger, and most notably frustrated star UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. to the point that he uncharacteristically threw two interceptions. But in Seattle, people are always going to remember one thing about this game: a questionable holding call on right tackle Roger Rosengarten at the absolute worst time possible.

Was it a hold? Click here to watch and decide for yourself. Was it as bad as any number of other potential holding calls from the game that weren’t made, such as this one? Almost definitely not.

And yes, the call on Rosengarten really hurt Washington. The Huskies trailed just 20-13 with about 11 minutes to go at the time, and after struggling to find big gains all night against Michigan, Penix finally hit Rome Odunze for a 32-yard pass. And that’s when the flags flew, bringing back the play and putting the Dawgs into a spot where they would eventually need to punt for the fifth time.

The Huskies never recovered from that missed opportunity. Five plays later, Michigan was in the end zone, pushing its lead to 27-13 with 7:09 remaining. And on the next Washington series, Penix was picked off for the second time, which the Wolverines quickly turned into another TD to put the game away.

It was a remarkable season for head coach Kalen DeBoer’s UW Huskies. A 14-1 record. Conference champions in the final year of the Pac-12. An incredible Sugar Bowl win over No. 3 Texas on New Year’s Day.

But Michigan was better on Monday night. Maybe the Wolverines got a little help. But who’s to say they needed it?

Analysis: Missed opportunities sink UW Huskies’ offense vs Michigan

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