Coaches pick Wolverines over Huskies

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, January 4, 2024

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This is the third time the county high school football coaches have been asked to predict the college football national champion and for the first time, Georgia is not a choice.

Northside’s Keith Boyd was the only coach who picked the Dawgs to beat Alabama two years ago and all four chose them to repeat over TCU last year. Southside’s Jeff Carrow came the closest in predicting the final score of that forgettable blowout, so he’s the defending champ.

Michigan needed overtime to claw past Alabama and reach the title game, while the Washington Huskies batted away Texas’ final pass attempt to turn the Longhorns season to mush. Michael Penix Jr. was second in the Heisman balloting and some might demand a recount after his outstanding performance against Texas.

Meanwhile, Michigan was its old school self, relying on a solid running game and a stout defense to outlast Alabama in overtime.

Monday night’s title tilt in Houston pits two undefeated teams playing for all the marbles. Northside’s Keith Boyd is going the opposite way from the other three on his prediction.

Boyd: Both semi-finals were great games and very entertaining to watch. I’m going a little bit out of the box and taking Washington. Their quarterback (Penix Jr.) is outstanding and he has three great receivers to throw to. If Michigan plays zone coverage, he’ll pick it apart. If they go man, the receivers are good enough to get open. The key for me is how well Washington’s defense stops the Michigan offense. There’s no doubt Washington can score, but keeping Michigan under control is the story. I’m saying Washington 34-28 in a very entertaining ball game.

Alex Sefton Pungo Christian Academy: The semi-finals were a breath of fresh air because in years past it seemed like we knew who was going to win before the games even started. Although Penix is mobile with a rocket arm, I think the Michigan defensive line will slow him down enough so that their ground and pound running game will control the clock and keep the tempo in their favor. Washington has to speed them up to pull off the win. I say 28-24 Michigan in a great game between two undefeated teams.

Jeff Carrow Southside: I’m going with Michigan by two touchdowns. I know the Washington offense is potent, but I don’t think their defense can stop Michigan’s ground game. I like run-heavy teams like Michigan and they are not afraid to set the tone with old school power football. I know Washington is a solid program that we don’t hear much about and they’ve obviously had an outstanding season. I think Michigan’s defense is good enough to slow Penix down and I also think we’ve already seen the national championship game (Michigan-Alabama) 35-21 Michigan.

Matt Taylor Washington: I thought the semi-finals were the two best games in college football this season and I’m excited for Monday night. I was really impressed with Penix and his receivers, but I think Michigan’s secondary is good enough and they should get some pressure on him up front. I love Michigan’s offensive line and the way they just move defenders to create holes. That’s fun to watch for a former offensive lineman and line coach, like me and I think Washington will have a hard time stopping the running game. I also think one of the special team units will make a big play that helps decide the game. I’m picking Michigan 28-24 in a great game to end the college football season.