CFP Championship 2024: Michael Penix Jr. says painful goodbye to Washington Huskies in his final college game

The 2023 college football season was ablaze with excitement, largely due to the Washington Huskies’ thrilling run led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr. The signal-caller’s stellar leadership and expertise guided the Huskies to the apex, as they secured the Pac-12 Championship and a coveted berth in the College Football Playoff. Their journey climaxed in a showdown against the Texas Longhorns at the Sugar Bowl, which saw them sealing their spot in the CFP National Championship Game against the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines.

However, Washington’s momentum faltered when they encountered the formidable Michigan squad. Monday marked the extinguishing of Washington’s fiery trail as they went down to the team. The loss fell extra heavy for Penix, as it was his last match in college football before getting enrolled in the NFL draft.

Michael Penix Jr finishes his final college game injured

Michael Penix Jr. faced a daunting challenge against the formidable defense of top-ranked Michigan in the CFP National Championship Game. He fought valiantly, but his efforts fell short as Washington succumbed to a 34-13 defeat against Michigan.

The signal-caller, carrying the weight of two surgically repaired knees, bore the brunt of the Wolverines’ relentless defensive onslaught. Throughout the game, he encountered immense pressure, leading to hurried passes and missed opportunities. While sacked twice, the constant pressure on him disrupted the rhythm of the Huskies’ offensive strategy and failed their attempts to gain momentum against their opponent.

While the Michigan squad was busy celebrating their win, ESPN cameras caught Penix limping in the tunnel back toward the locker room. His physical and emotional pain was visible as he used a towel to cover his face from the crowd.

The young star reflected on his journey after the game and expressed gratitude for the highs and lows he endured.

“Everybody knows my story. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve had ups and downs. But I’m thankful for it all. I’m super blessed,” he remarked via USA Today.

The championship game marked Michael Penix Jr’s return for a sixth season, with a firm determination to push his squad towards an upward trajectory. However, his remarkable individual performance in the title clash couldn’t salvage Washington’s hopes. The QB concluded the disappointing match against Michigan with 255 passing yards for one touchdown and two interceptions, while completing 27 of 51 pass attempts.

Michael Penix Jr. is high priority in NFL draft

Michael Penix Jr.’s stint at Indiana, marred by multiple injuries, led him to Washington, where he emerged as a quarterback of exceptional skill and durability over the past two seasons. He brings a rare blend of athleticism and precision to the quarterback position.

As the 2024 NFL Draft looms closer, multiple teams, including the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams, Washington Commanders, and Denver Broncos, have their sights set on the young star as a potential long-term solution at quarterback. Initially pegged as a contender for the projected QB4 spot in the upcoming draft, his recent standout performance against Texas Tech propelled him into the spotlight. However, a setback against the Michigan Wolverines raised questions about his consistency and draft position.

Michael Penix Jr
Everett Herald

Despite this uncertainty, Michael Penix Jr.’s potential remains undeniable. He has the skill set and resilience to potentially become a top-20 pick in the first round of the NFL draft. His ability to rebound from injuries during his tenure at Indiana and subsequently excel at Washington speaks volumes about his determination and talent. The QB led the nation in passing yards this season and also secured second place in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Maliha

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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.

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