The Wolverine

February 2024

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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10 THE WOLVERINE ❱ FEBRUARY 2024 BY CHRIS BALAS T he way Michigan celebrated a Jan. 1 Rose Bowl win over Alabama had some openly wondering if the Wolverines knew they still had another game to play. There were tears of joy after the 27-20 overtime victory, roses in the mouth, and deservedly so. Beating the SEC's best was a monumental accomplishment. But this team was mature enough to understand they had to get back to work quickly, and senior running back Blake Corum said it best in one of his last com- ments before leaving the field to head to- ward the locker room: "Job's not finished," he said with a grin. They had one more — the College Foot- ball Playoff National Championship tilt in Houston, and they'd find out only a few hours later that Washington would be the opponent. The Huskies upset Texas in the Sugar Bowl and were the only thing standing between the Wolverines and a 15-0 season and undisputed national title. That Corum would lead them to the Promised Land with 134 yards and 2 touchdowns in a game MVP performance seemed only fitting. The diminutive su- perstar came back for one reason, and one reason only — to win the "natty" with his brothers. He'd missed the Ohio State game last year due to a knee injury that also cost him the postseason, and he had to watch from the sideline while his guys lost to TCU in the CFP semifinals, knowing there was nothing he could do. On Mon., Jan. 8 in Houston, though, there was no stopping him in a 34-13 win. "When we all decided to come back, and the guys that had no other choice but to come back, we knew what it took to get here. We had to pay attention to details," Corum said. "Our strength coach [Ben Herbert] actually hit on it [the night be- fore the game] when he was talking to us. "It's the little things, the details, and we really locked in on those details all the way back to winter and summer workouts. We were trying to execute at a high level and pay attention to detail. I think that's what separated us a lot." RETURN OF 'THE DON' What separated them early in the title game, however, was something that had been missing for much of the year — a Junior J.J. McCarthy only threw for 140 yards against the Huskies but he added 31 yards on 4 carries to help push Michigan to the national title. PHOTO BY GABRIELLA CERITANO ONE AND ONLY Michigan Captures Program's First Undisputed Title Since 1948 With 34-13 Win Over Washington

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