Michael Penix Jr. saw his college career come to an end on Monday night with the other team celebrating a national title. The Washington quarterback left the field inside NRG Stadium beaten but not broken following a 34-13 loss to Michigan in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Penix was under siege throughout the game, pressured by a ferocious Michigan front that affected him even when it didn’t sack him. UW’s quarterback looked like he was fighting to stay upright at times in the fourth quarter, but when he was asked after the game how he was feeling, he responded with, “Better than I was three years ago.”

Everyone knows the story at this point. In four seasons at Indiana, injuries never let Penix play more than six games.

Then he came to Washington and blossomed.

“My career, it was a lot. I feel like everything happened for a reason,” Penix said. “I’ve been through a lot. I’ve had ups and downs, but I’m thankful for it all. Super blessed to meet Coach DeBoer at Indiana, to lead me here, to be playing for the biggest game in college football.

“Obviously we didn’t come out how we wanted to, but I know each and every player on this team, they gave it their all. It wasn’t enough today. For me, I’m gonna take accountability for the offensive side of the ball. I feel like we could have done better. … But I’m blessed to be here, I’m blessed to be on this team, and these guys will be my brothers forever.”

Penix closes out his college career with 13,741 passing yards and 109 total touchdowns. In two seasons with Washington, he threw 67 total touchdown passes and helped the Huskies to 25 wins in 28 games.