Instant Reaction: UW Huskies come up short of national title

Jan 8, 2024, 8:46 PM | Updated: 10:28 pm

UW Huskies Michigan CFP Jalen McMillan...

Jalen McMillan of the UW Huskies is defended by Michigan's Mike Sainristil on Jan. 8, 2024. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

(Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The No. 2 UW Huskies made it all the way to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Houston, but it’s the Michigan Wolverines who get to take the trophy home.

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

Michigan defeated Washington 34-13 as the Dawgs came up short of their first national title in over 30 years, with the Wolverines jumping out to a commanding lead early and surviving a comeback attempt by UW to pull away late.

A couple of Seattle Sports’ voices have checked in with their instant reactions after Monday’s game. Read what they have to say below, and tune in all day Wednesday on 710 AM, SeattleSports.com or the Seattle Sports app for much more reaction and analysis on an amazing season for the UW Huskies.

Analysis: Missed opportunities sink UW Huskies’ offense vs Michigan

Mike Salk – Brock and Salk (6-10 a.m.)

It was a fantastic run, and if a few plays had gone differently, it might have ended with jubilation here in Washington.

Was there a phantom hold? Maybe. Could Michael Penix Jr. have hit an open Rome Odunze on an early fourth down? Sure. Were those plays relevant to the final result? Absolutely. But over the course of four quarters, Michigan was the more physical team, and the Wolverines ultimately were able to impose their will when it mattered most.

We wondered if it would be the marquee matchup between that Washington offense and the Michigan defense, or if the two “lesser” groups would play a larger role. But with a 34-13 final, you could safely say that the Wolverines won both battles. The Huskies couldn’t keep that pass rush from battering their star quarterback and never opened up much in the run game. And while the defense gets a ton of credit for locking it down after a tough start, those two big early runs made for a hole that was just too hard to overcome.

It was a fantastic season to be proud of for every Husky and every fan. But they were beaten by a better, more physical football team.

Bob Stelton – Wyman and Bob (2-7 p.m.)

Not the ending anybody in this state was hoping for, but what an absolutely brilliant season for the Huskies. I’m not much for consolation prizes, but this was fun team to watch and one of the best in the history of this program.

Michigan is a darn good team. I can’t stand seeing Jim Harbaugh win, and he was most certainly aware of the cheating going on with his staff. While that may taint this title a bit (we’ll see what happens with any further punishments), there is no denying that he is an outstanding football coach.

Speaking of outstanding football coaches, the UW Huskies’ Kalen DeBoer is the real deal! What he’s done with this program in two seasons is unreal. They certainly have some holes to fill with the departure of Penix, Odunze and other key players, but there is zero doubt that the Huskies are going to be a part of the playoff conversation for the foreseeable future.

More: Hold call looms large as UW Huskies fall short in CFP title game

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Instant Reaction: UW Huskies come up short of national title