With their victory over Washington in the National Championship game on Monday night, the Michigan Wolverines achieved the highest level in college football.
Throughout the 2023 season, Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines dominated their opponents, going 15-0. The program will now attempt to repeat the entire process in 2024.
Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN noted that this will be Michigan’s next major test.
Hertbstreit stated on The Pat McAfee Show, “Can they sustain it is the next question.””Because continuing to do it year after year after year is the hardest part. That’s why Kirby Smart and Nick Saban deserve our respect and deference. It’s difficult. Reaching that height is one thing. When you lose a fantastic group of leaders, it becomes very different.
“We’ll see. That will be their next obstacle as they proceed. Jim Harbaugh present or absent.”
Despite making the College Football Playoffs the previous three seasons, Michigan has never advanced past the semifinals before. The Wolverines are now preparing for the 2024 campaign as reigning champion
If Jim Harbaugh chooses to leave the team this offseason, it will be much harder to achieve this kind of long-term success. Many are speculating that the longtime head coach of the Wolverines will join the NFL because of the NCAA investigation that is hanging over the program.
It is anticipated that a number of Michigan’s top players—J.J. McCarthy, Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards, and others—will depart the team during the offseason. If the program hopes to continue its success into 2024, each of these important positions will need to be replaced.
It wasn’t Donovan Edwards’ season, but ‘Big Game Don’ delivered two iconic moments for a championship
Donovan Edwards, a running back for Michigan, produced two of the biggest plays of the Wolverines’ season as they won the national championship.
Houston — Donovan Edwards felt a variety of emotions when Blake Corum declared his intention to rejoin the Michigan football team in 2023.
The University of Michigan running back was happy to have his friend and NFL-caliber teammate return for another season. Edwards was a little let down that he wouldn’t be “the guy” when splitting carries in a congested backfield at the same moment.
Donovan Edwards acknowledges that 2023 wasn’t his lucky year. He entered the season with high expectations, hoping to be selected in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft; however, he struggled to get off to a slow start and had a quiet season overall. Silent, until Monday evening, that is.
Donovan Edwards had his moment in the CFP National Championship Game, even though this may not have been his season. In fact, the Wolverines scored two of those goals on back-to-back first-quarter drives to win their first championship since 1997.
The first was immediately following the Huskies’ first (and only) sack of the game, which came on 2nd-and-14 from the Washington 41-yard line.
After accepting the handoff, Edwards crashed into Trevor Keegan and Drake Nugent in the back. He cut outside, where Washington had lost control, after bouncing off the mass of people. Then came the footrace, which Edwards almost never loses:
With the next possession, J.J. McCarthy hit Roman Wilson for a 37-yard catch-and-run, which put the Wolverines deep into Washington territory. After Edwards replaced Blake Corum, U-M gave the Huskies a taste of Big Ten football: Two tight ends, five offensive linemen, and one additional offensive lineman are included. Following the handoff, Edwards identified the wide opening on the weak side, where Colston Loveland made the downfield block that allowed Edwards to reach the end zone:
“You have to go through the pain in order to succeed, so I’m grateful for everything that has happened to me this year—and we’re national champions,” Edwards remarked following the game.
“I simply turn back to God, and I’m trying to be patient because this year didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I simply feel as though… I don’t deserve anything, but I think that by persevering, putting my faith in God, and working hard, I was rewarded and blessed.
And Blake Corum was the one who was most delighted for Donovan Edwards:
He declared, “Donovan deserved it.” “The Don has returned. I had a great time watching it. A special thanks to Don. I adore him greatly.