The Student News Site of Rochester Adams High School

The Adams Kilt

  • Welcome Back Highlanders!
The Student News Site of Rochester Adams High School

The Adams Kilt

The Student News Site of Rochester Adams High School

The Adams Kilt

Michigan Football Silences the Naysayers and Wins its First National Championship Since 1997

Will Johnson (2) celebrates an interception in the National Championship game against Washington (Photo Credit: AP)

The University of Michigan Football Team found itself back in the College Football Playoff (CFP) for a third straight season. The goal this year was to break the trend and win a national title on the biggest stage in college football.

During a COVID-shortened season in 2020, Michigan’s 2-4 record raised dozens of questions around the program, especially with head coach Jim Harbaugh’s status with the program in the future. After the season, Harbaugh agreed to take a pay cut and remain the head coach of the Wolverines.

The next season, Michigan accomplished an incredible turnaround, finishing the regular season with an 11-1 record, including Harbaugh’s first win against archrival Ohio State. Michigan would then go on to win their first Big Ten Championship Game and make their first CFP, where they would get embarrassed by eventual national champion Georgia, 34-11.

Michigan rebounded with a perfect 2022 regular season, to win another Big Ten title and make their second consecutive CFP, where they would again fall in the semifinal to heavy underdog TCU, 51-45.

After last year’s loss to TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, Michigan QB JJ McCarthy promised big things to the Michigan faithful.

“Fought our hearts out,” said McCarthy. “There’s a lot of things that we could have done better. Can’t wait to watch the tape. But we’ll be back, and I promise that.”

Sure enough, they made it back, but not without controversy along the way. To begin the season, Harbaugh was suspended three games for recruiting violations during the COVID dead period. However, the big scandal surrounding the program came later in the season, as the week before their in-state battle with Michigan State, Michigan was charged with allegations that Connor Stalions, a low-level staffer, provided tickets to games of future Michigan opponents to record opposing sidelines with phones to decipher teams’ play calling signals.

This didn’t slow the Wolverines down, though. With the rest of the nation claiming that they were cheaters, Michigan focused on what was happening inside the locker room and on the field, putting a 49-0 thumping on the Spartans in October.

Michigan celebrates with the Paul Bunyan trophy after beating rival Michigan State (Photo Credit: David Guralnick, The Detroit News)

Michigan came down the stretch with multiple tough games to close out the year. Not to mention, they lost their head coach to another three game suspension just hours before their matchup with Penn State. Regardless, they went into Happy Valley, led by offensive coordinator and interim head coach Sherrone Moore, to take down the 10th-ranked Nittany Lions, 24-15.

A trap game in College Park almost caught the Wolverines off guard as they looked forward to their upcoming matchup against Ohio State. However, Michigan was able to hang on and defeat Maryland 31-24 to become the first college football program to reach 1,000 wins.

On November 25 came “The Game.” Circled on everyone’s calendar every year, the Michigan vs. Ohio State rivalry is undoubtedly one of the most heated in all of sports. This season, the stakes could not be higher, as the No. 2 Buckeyes and No. 3 Wolverines were both 11-0 entering their duel in Ann Arbor. Michigan controlled the game and secured a statement win over their rivals 30-24 to lock in a spot in the Big Ten Championship against No. 16 Iowa.

Michigan had no troubles getting by the stout Iowa defense, and Iowa’s poor offense didn’t do their own defense any favors. Michigan cruised to a 26-0 victory and locked in a No. 1 ranking headed into the CFP, where they would have a storybook matchup with No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl.

A shaky special teams performance by Michigan kept the Crimson Tide in the game. Down seven late, Michigan drove down the field to tie the game at 20 and send it into overtime. Michigan struck first in overtime, as RB Blake Corum scored a 17-yard touchdown on Michigan’s second play. The Michigan defense came up big as it had all game, stopping Alabama on a 4th and Goal QB run, to snatch a 27-20 victory and send the Wolverines to the National Championship.

No. 2 Washington, winners of the Sugar Bowl, would meet Michigan in Houston on January 8 to play for the national title in a battle of the only remaining unbeaten teams in college football. Michigan started the game out strong, as RB Donovan Edwards broke two huge touchdown runs to give Michigan an early 14-3 lead after one quarter.

The second quarter was stagnant for the Michigan offense, as they had trouble moving the football and never found the endzone. They entered halftime with a 17-10 lead. The third quarter saw continued struggles for both offenses, as each team only notched three points to keep the Michigan lead at seven.

Michigan finally regained control of the game in the fourth quarter, as Corum ran for two touchdowns, and the defense shut out the Huskies, a performance highlighted by an interception by Mike Sainristil which was returned for 81 yards. The game ended as a 34-13 victory to give the Wolverines their first national title since they shared one with Nebraska in 1997.

McCarthy (9, left) and Harbaugh (right) calebrate Michigan’s National Championship win over Washington (Photo Credit: Sanjesh Singh)

“I knew that our defense would be just fine against Washington, and that our run game would be our best bet on offense, which proved to be true,” said Adams junior and Michigan football fan Owen Kleber.

Michigan fans have long awaited to see their team atop the college football world. Regardless of what happens with the ongoing investigation, even if the NCAA decides to vacate Michigan’s championship, they will never be able to vacate the emotions felt by Wolverine nation on January 8.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Noah Stockoski
Noah Stockoski, Writer
Noah Stockoski is a senior at Adams High School, and it is his third year writing for The Adams Kilt. He has previously served as a Writer, Editor, and Editor-in-Chief. He has also played baseball and ran track for Adams, and is involved in its DECA, NHS, and Spikeball Clubs. He enjoys writing about sports especially, and plans to study Sport Management after high school.

Comments (0)

All The Adams Kilt Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *