Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy made a few key plays late in the game against Washington and helped deliver a national championship for the Wolverines on Monday night.
As the celebration began, McCarthy went over to where his family was sitting and shared a kiss with his girlfriend, Katya Kuropas. The cameras also caught McCarthy hugging some family members before rejoining his team for the trophy celebration.
More than a year ago, Kuropas went viral as Michigan fought against TCU in the College Football Playoff semifinals. She cheered on Michigan, but the Wolverines fell short of making the national championship. The two had been dating since they were in high school in Illinois.
McCarthy was seen on the field at the time staring at TCU’s celebration as they closed out the victory. It appeared to light a fire underneath the quarterback. Michigan came back and finished the year undefeated as they topped the Huskies to win the title. The TCU game was McCarthy’s only loss as a starter.
“We came a long way. In order to accomplish things like this, you’ve got to go to those dark places where everything’s not great,” he said after the game, via Sports Illustrated. “The response, the urgency right after that last game last year, it was different. I knew it.
“Just from being on the podium last year and saying that we’ll be back. I knew the guys that were coming back, and I had this feeling that we were going to be where we are right now.”
Michigan won the game 34-13.
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