Northmont grad wins national championship with Michigan football

Top-ranked Michigan’s 34-13 win over No. 2 Washington in the College Football National Championship Game on Monday night means the Miami Valley has a national champion for the 2023 college football season.

Rod Moore is a three-year starter at safety for the Wolverines, who topped the Huskies to claim their first national championship since they shared the 1997 title with Nebraska.

The most recent undisputed national title for Michigan was 1948, but Moore’s arrival had coincided with a run of success Michigan has not seen in decades even before the Wolverines finished the job Monday night.

They snapped an eight-game losing streak to Ohio State in 2021 and won their first Big Ten title since 2004.

They repeated both feats the last two seasons while also making the CFP for the first time.

Although Michigan lost its semifinal playoff games to Georgia and TCU, respectively, in 2021 and ‘22, the Wolverines broke through with an overtime win against Alabama in the Rose Bowl last week.

Moore had four tackles Monday night as the Wolverines contained a high-powered Washington offense, intercepting star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. twice and holding him to 255 yards passing.

Michigan finished 15-0 despite playing the second half of the season under the cloud of accusations the program benefited from an illegal advance scouting/sign stealing operation run by staff member Connor Stalions.

“I think just a lot of the things that’s going against us right now,” Moore said when asked before the game about what made this Michigan team different from the last two. “Just everyone on the team coming together and buying into everything. I think right after we lost to TCU, everybody bought in, just the goal of getting to the national championship. And every day from then on we’ve just been going at it and just being together through everything.”

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Michigan led the national in total defense entering the national championship game and held Washington to just 301 total yards.

Michigan’s last national title team also had one member from the Miami Valley: Cyle Young, a freshman nose tackle from Springfield who went to Shawnee.

According to a database maintained by the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library, the only other player from the area to be a member of a national championship team for the Maize and Blue was Dayton native Robert Matusoff in 1947.

Young is an author, literary agent and video game streamer with nearly 300,000 followers on TikTok.

Matusoff, who attended Fairview High School, went to Harvard Law after graduating from Michigan and was regarded as “one of the stronger (meaning smarter) attorneys in the city” of Dayton according to his 2011 obituary.

He served as a board member of the Dayton Art Institute and chairman of the Dayton Performing Arts Fund, which became Culture Works, and was on the board of directors for Ponderosa, Philips Industries and Zimmer Homes.

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