The Pac-12 is going out with a bang.
Months after the storied conference disintegrated due to conference realignment, the Washington Huskies will play for the national championship against Michigan after defeating Texas 37-31 on Monday night.
The Longhorns’ late rally in the fourth quarter was a valiant effort led by quarterback Quinn Ewers, but Washington was able to pull away behind Michael Penix Jr.’s dominating performance in the second half.
The Heisman Trophy finalist finished 29 of 38 for 430 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the first half to start the third quarter tied at 21. Washington then pulled ahead with Penix’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Jalen McMillan and Grady Gross’ two successful field goal attempts of 26 and 40 yards.
Texas clawed their way back to a six-point deficit. A string of penalties by Washington would get the Ewers within reach of the endzone, but after four attempts, including a batted down ball by cornerback Elijah Jackson, the Huskies move on in search of their first national championship since 1991 and the Pac-12’s first since 2004.
The win comes as the Pac-12 prepares for a new look. Washington is one of 10 schools leaving the conference for other Power Five conferences next year, with the Huskies headed to join Michigan in the Big Ten.
But first, Washington will face off against the undefeated Wolverines in the CFP National Championship in Houston, Texas on Jan. 8 after Michigan outlasted Alabama in the Rose Bowl on Monday.
Senior running back Blake Courm ran for his 56th career touchdown in Michigan’s opening drive of overtime to solidify Big Blue’s place in the championship and became the program’s all-time rushing touchdown leader in the process.
Fox News’ Joe Morgan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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