Washington unexpectedly had to sweat out the final seconds of the Sugar Bowl against Texas, but the Huskies got what they needed. Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Washington Huskies cornerback Elijah Jackson (25) knocks the ball away from Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) during the fourth quarter in the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

When Washington kicked a field goal to go up nine points with 2:40 remaining in the Sugar Bowl against Texas, it didn’t seem like the Huskies would have to sweat out the game’s final seconds. But that’s exactly what happened.

The Longhorns cut the lead to six points with just over a minute left. Texas attempted an onside kick, which the Huskies recovered with just over a minute left. The Longhorns had two time-outs left, so Washington couldn’t quite run out the entire clock. But the best case scenario for Texas was to get the ball back with less than 20 seconds left deep in its own territory. Or at least that’s what seemed like the best case scenario was for the Longhorns.

Washington running back Dillon Johnson was injured on the third down play. That stopped the clock, giving Texas 40 seconds it wouldn’t have otherwise had. The Huskies were then penalized 15 yards for kick catch interference on the punt. So, Texas began its possession on the 31-yard line with 41 seconds left. The Longhorns needed a touchdown so they still had a lot of work to do — but they had a chance.

Texas got two big plays on the ensuing drive. The first came on a 28-yard completion from Quinn Ewers to Jordan Whittington. The second was a 16-yard completion from Ewars to Jaydon Blue, who managed to keep his foot in bounds long enough to secure the catch.

From there, though, the Washington defense reassumed control. Texas lost one yards on its next three plays, setting up a fourth down with one second remaining.

Ewers threw the ball to receiver Adonai Mitchell, but Washington’s Elijah Jackson knocked the ball away to give the Huskies the nail-biting victory.

The unexpectedly wild finish had college football fans buzzing.

Washington will play its future Big Ten rival, Michigan, in the National Championship Game on Monday, Jan. 8 in Houston.

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