Jan 2, 2024 - Sports

Huskies to play for national title after Sugar Bowl win

Washington Huskies players celebrate with the Sugar Bowl trophy on Jan. 1. Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The University of Washington Huskies will play for the national college football championship after defeating Texas 37–31 Monday in the Sugar Bowl.

What's happening: The undefeated Huskies will go head to head against Michigan next week as the UW team fights to win its first national football title in more than three decades.

Catch up quick: Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw for 430 yards in yesterday's semifinal playoff game against the Longhorns, helping the Huskies post a 13-point lead by early in the fourth quarter.

  • But the Longhorns fought back, leaving the Huskies six points ahead with little over a minute left.
  • Ultimately, Texas couldn't make the final touchdown needed to clinch a win — although they kept the game a nail-biter until the literal final second of play.

Between the lines: The Huskies' offense was aided by Texas' turnovers and penalties, including a fourth-quarter fumble by the Longhorns that ended what looked like a promising Texas drive.

  • Penix was named the game's offensive MVP for his passing game, while Washington's Bralen Trice was named the Sugar Bowl's defensive MVP after he forced a pivotal Texas turnover in the third quarter.

What we're watching: If this year's Huskies can beat Michigan on Jan. 8, they'll bring home Washington's first national championship since 1991.

  • Because of the NCAA's current head-to-head playoff system, it would be Washington's first national title that isn't shared with another team. (The 1991 championship is also claimed by Miami.)

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