It’s been seven years since Appalachian State upset No. 5 Michigan 34-32 in the 2007 season opener.
The Wolverines had been smarting from the bitter (one vs. two) loss at Ohio State and the following beat-down by Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl.
Appalachian State, despite winning two straight FCS championships, was expected to be nothing more than a scrimmage to prepare U-M for Oregon which was scheduled the following week.
Instead, Appalachian State shocked the football world by being the first FCS team to defeat a ranked FBS squad.
You Tube heroes
The Mountaineers, who blocked a Michigan field goal attempt to seal the deal, became the darlings of You Tube, while Michigan coach Lloyd Carr stepped a bit closer to his eventual retirement at the end of the 2007 season.
Instead of letting bygones be bygones, the two teams have slated a rematch for Aug. 30 at the Big House.
For the Mountaineers, winning would be nothing short of another miracle, but it would also be a nice way of joining the big boys in the (FBS) Sun Belt Conference. Appy State head coach Scott Satterfield, who took over for Jerry Moore in 2012, was the quarterbacks coach in 2007, so the Big House won’t be anything new.
Mountaineers can’t win
Any savvy football follower knows the Mountaineers can’t win this time around. However, if you observed the Wolverines in the recent Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, well, anything is possible.
After all, the Mountaineers still run the spread offense that often befuddles the Wolverines. The skill positions are still properly manned. Veteran quarterback Kameron Bryant threw for 2,713 yards with a 71.2 completion percentage last season, while running back Marcus Cox rushed for 1,250 yards and caught 43 passes out of the backfield. True freshman wideout Malachi Jones added 32 receptions in a supporting role.
For Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, playing Appy State is a no-win situation. With the fan base unhappy about the last two seasons, a loss could all but send Hoke packing.
Competing for championships
U-M Athletic Director Dave Brandon is not exactly happy with the state of the football program.
“My concerns are defined in the following words: 7-6,” Brandon said. “That’s not Michigan. You feel good that we have a bunch of young players and we were close and we were almost there in a lot of games, but that’s not where we need to be. That’s not where we want to be. That’s not where our fans want to be. More importantly, it’s not where our coaches and kids want to be.
“We need to get Michigan back to where we all want Michigan to be,” he added. “And that’s competing for championships and playing in big national games that have big national implications. That’s what we’re about.”
The Michigan-Appalachian State rematch will have plenty of national interest, but for all the wrong reasons.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer