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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Play a clean game

This applies to both teams. Michigan football is favored by 4.5 points, according to DraftKings, but this should be another good matchup. These teams are too well-coached and they have been through too much to wilt at this moment.

That's my opinion at least. Both teams did have some worrisome moments though in their College Football Playoff wins, especially Michigan, which missed two kicks (FG, PAT) and muffed two punts. The first gave Alabama the ball at the Michigan 40 and led to a touchdown. The second nearly gave the game to Alabama, although Jake Thaw was able to keep his head.

Both teams should be able to clean that up. It was uncharacteristic for both but playing a clean game is going to be key for both teams. The turnover battle will be critical and whoever wins that, might end up winning the national championship. That's one thing I'd bet on.

College Football Playoff National Championship Prediction

This is a tough one to read, but Michigan feels like a team of destiny. Everyone is focused on the matchup of the Washington offense against the Michigan defense, but I have a hard time seeing how the Huskies defense will stop Michigan. And unless they are able to force McCarthy into mistakes -- which he's thrown just four interceptions all season -- I see Michigan winning a competitive game.

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Michigan 34, Washington 24