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


Final season for UW Huskies’ Michael Penix Jr. improves his draft stock

UW Huskies

UW Huskies helmet...

Christian Caple

UW transfer Logan Sagapolu ‘grateful’ for new start, position

Incoming UW Huskies transfer Logan Sagapolu is ready to make the transition from defensive line to offensive line in Seattle.

1 day ago

Pac-12 UW Huskies Jadelyn Allchin...

Cliff Brunt

Dominant Pac-12 softball nears end with realignment set to scatter programs

Current members of the Pac-12 have dominated softball for most of its existence. Those programs will spread out next year.

11 days ago

Pac-12 UW Huskies Oregon...

Christian Caple

Caple: The toughest game for each Pac-12 team as they enter new leagues

The 2024 college football season will find 10 of the former Pac-12 members playing in three different conferences.

13 days ago

UW Huskies Carson Bruener...

Christian Caple

Caple: Revisiting UW Huskies’ 2020 recruiting class, of which only 5 remain

Only five of the UW Huskies’ 23 signees from 2020 remain on the roster, as a group that ranked 16th nationally has become the first class at UW truly affected by the advent of the transfer portal.

14 days ago

Apple Cup logo UW Huskies WSU Cougars...

Brent Stecker

The ‘TV’ home for Apple Cup is set, may create some controversy

The TV broadcast of the 2024 Apple Cup from Lumen Field between the UW Huskies and WSU Cougars won't technically be on a TV station.

15 days ago

UW Huskies vs. WSU Cougars in Apple Cup...

Christian Caple

Caple: Why are Apple Cup tickets so expensive? Let’s examine

Early ticket sales for the neutral-site Apple Cup between the UW Huskies and WSU Cougars for 2024 have caused sticker shock.

20 days ago

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