By Jesse Wood
Aug. 26, 2014. The Appalachian State Mountaineers will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Friday for its long-awaited rematch against the Michigan Wolverines. Kickoff is at noon on Saturday, Aug. 30, and the game will be televised on ESPN 2.
While the game will be the Mountaineers first as a FBS team and member of the Sun Belt Conference, it also evokes memories of the “biggest upset ever,” when the Mountaineers entered “The Big House” in 2007 and took down the No. 5 ranked Wolverines.
App State won 34-32 after safety Corey Lynch blocked a potentially game-winning field goal at the end of regulation. App State became the first FCS team to beat a ranked FBS opponent.
Before that game in 2007, App State was coming off of two straight FCS national championships. This time around, though, the Mountaineers are coming off a subpar 2013 season that featured a 4-8 record in its last season as a member of the Southern Conference.
Whereas the Wolverines were ranked No. 5 in 2007, Michigan isn’t ranked in the Top 25 entering the 2014-15 season.
Still, though, everyone including App State head coach Scott Satterfield acknowledges that the Mountaineers are yet again the underdog.
“Obviously, Michigan has one of the most storied programs in the country. They are always going to be close to the top. They have so many great players. Recruiting nationally, they are signing four- [to] five-star recruits. They are always going to be one of the best teams in the country, one that you always have to prepare extremely well for,” Satterfield said in a recent press conference. “…We are picked big time to be the underdog again. I think we will be anytime we play.”
On Saturday, Appalachian State won’t have the element of surprise that it had coming into The Big House in 2007.
As former head coach Jerry Moore told The Sporting News in May for an article about the rematch:
“[Former Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr’s as good a football coach as ever coached, but it’s probably hard to convince your team about (an opponent) that probably two-thirds of them never even heard about … They really weren’t mentally ready to play us. “
When Satterfield was recently asked how that upset impacts or affects the upcoming rematch, Satterfield said the 2007 victory “proves the underdog can win.”
While the 2007 game won’t figure into “how [App State] plays this week,” Satterfield acknowledged that win is a part of App State football tradition and is why a number of players have chosen to play for the Mountaineers.
“It speaks volumes for our program,” Satterfield said.
For more info on this game, click here, and below is audio of a recent press conference with ASU head coach Scott Satterfield talking about the upcoming rematch with Michigan.