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Why Washington will win the 2024 National Championship

Washington National Championship
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Why Washington will win the 2024 National Championship

Washington has been in business all season long this year, and now they’re taking a trip to the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2016. With the Heisman trophy runner-up Michael Penix Jr. under center for the Huskies, there is no telling what heights this team can reach. Now, Penix and Washington have a chance to bring a national championship back to Washington for the first time since 1991.

Washington has been built off one thing all season long: A highly powered offense behind Michael Penix Jr. If the Huskies want to reach college football glory, they need to back up that Pac-12 talk on the big stage against Texas.

It has been a common conception that any team in the Big 12 has minimal defense, but unfortunately for Washington, Texas is no slouch.

I touched on this in my Texas post on how the Longhorns aren’t just a team formed around Quinn Ewers. Yes, they have a high-power offense formatted around playmakers like Xavier Worthy and Jonathan Brooks, but their defense has shined all year long. As stated in my Texas article, “The Longhorns has been a top-20 defense in yards allowed per game, but in the last three matchups against Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas Tech, the Longhorns have only given up an average of 270.3 yards.”

On the other hand, the Huskies NEED to step up their defense this postseason. They can’t afford to give up an annual 400 yards to their opponents per game. Let alone allowing opponents to score on 84.09 percent of red zone trips. The postseason is a different beast compared to the regular season in any sport, let alone when you’re facing teams like Colorado, Arizona State and Stanford.

But Washington has proved they don’t need a standout defense all year long. Washington has averaged the ninth most points per game (37.7) in all of college football, and the highest in the CFP.

Michael Penix Jr, Dillon Johnson and Rome Odunze are balling this year. We have already touched on Penix a little, but it’s hard to not appreciate how much he’s turned Washington around: 36 total touchdowns and 4,218 passing yards is no easy feat for a player playing at the highest level and biggest stage of college football.

Dillon Johnson has been rumbling through defenses all year long, logging 1,113 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in just 13 games. He will have a difficult matchup this week against the Longhorns, as the Big 12 champions have given up an average of 81.1 rushing yards per game this year.

Look no further, but the Penix-Odunze connection could be electrifying this weekend. Texas has allowed 240.8 passing yards per game, and with Washington at the peak of the passing podium this year, Washington could have a field day against the Longhorn secondary.

The Washington Huskies drew one of the most anticipated and historic matchups college football has seen in the past decade, but can they pull through? What are your predictions on this year’s Sugar Bowl? Let us know in the comments down below.

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