3 keys and a prediction for College Football Playoff National Championship Game

Breaking down the keys for Michigan football and Washington, as well as a prediction for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) pass the ball during the Sugar Bowl College
Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) pass the ball during the Sugar Bowl College / Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA
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Run to win for Michigan football

When Jim Harbaugh was talking about the "Beat Georgia" drill implemented by the Wolverines earlier this season, he said the thing he respected the most about Georgia was being able to run the ball when it absolutely had to.

Well, in the Rose Bowl when Michigan needed to run, it was able to. The game-tying drive started with two runs for eight yards. It wasn't great, but that fourth-and-two was a lot easier to pick up than if it was fourth-and-10. Michigan also ran twice for 25 yards in overtime and scored on Blake Corum's 17-yard touchdown run. The rest was history.

For this game, Corum is going to be a huge key. Washington's defense has been solid, but they allow more than 400 yards per game and even worse for this matchup, 4.4 yards per carry. I think Michigan is going to try and do what they did to Ohio State in 2021, which is to shorten the game and run the ball until the Huskies prove they can stop it.

Michigan football is 31-0 when Blake Corum scores a rushing touchdown and if he reaches the end zone on Monday night, it won't be a good sign. Michigan needs him to have a 100-yard game, while the Huskies need to force J.J. McCarthy to beat them.

That's not even a commentary on McCarthy, who is also really good, but Michigan will want to play keep away and Washington can't allow that, which means stopping Corum early and often.