No. 2 Washington survived a dramatic comeback attempt by No. 3 Texas to advance to the College Football Playoff national championship for the first time in program history. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. turned in one of the greatest performances in CFP history, throwing for 430 yards and two touchdowns to beat Texas' Quinn Ewers and cement himself in the history books.
The Huskies had a chance to ice the game, but an injury to running back Dillon Johnson stopped the clock as Washington faced fourth down late in the fourth quarter. After the Longhorns received the punt, Ewers connected repeatedly with wide receiver Jordan Whittington to set up a dramatic final sequence in the red zone. The Longhorns' star QB let one go into the end zone with 1 second left, but it fell from the corner as Washington began its celebration.
Penix completed at least three passes to six different receivers and contributed to 100-yard performances from Rome Odunze and Ja'Lynn Polk. He also freed his legs, adding 31 yards rushing in the victory. Washington took a 7-0 lead after its first drive of the game and never trailed. Much of the second half was spent scoring multiple times before Texas took advantage of a late surge from Ewers to pull back.
Ewers got off to a slow start, completing just 10 of his first 20 passes for 102 yards. After taking a brutal hit from Washington rusher Bralen Trice, Ewers came alive, throwing for 216 yards in the final period alone. Ultimately, it wasn't enough to overcome Washington's lead. Ewers threw for 318 yards and a touchdown in the loss. Only nine completions were to wide receivers before the final drive.
- Penix's 430 passing yards rank as the fourth-best performance in CFP history, behind Alabama's Mac Jones in 2020 and two Joe Burrow performances for LSU in 2019. Jones and Burrow went on to win the title national.
- Texas running backs CJ Baxter and Jaydon Blue averaged 6.8 yards per carry, but only received the ball 16 times total. Texas threw the ball 35 times in 63 plays.
- Washington running back Dillon Johnson aggravated his foot injury during the game, but didn't miss any snaps. Although his 49 yards on 21 carries didn't stand out, his physical running helped convert several key drives. He was kicked off the field after the match.
- Five different Washington pass catchers cleared 48 yards receiving, while Polk and Odunze combined for 247 yards.
- Washington is the first Pac-12 team to win a College Football Playoff game since 2014 (Oregon).
Read below for takeaways from Washington's Sugar Bowl win over Texas on Monday in New Orleans.