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ASU’s ‘Crowning Achievement’ About to Celebrate Five-Year Anniversary; Receiving National Media Attention

By Paul T. Choate

A page from the Sept. 6, 2007 issue of High Country Press. Click to enlarge.

Aug. 23, 2012. It was the day that college football changed forever. Sept. 1, 2007. When the clock hit 0:00, Appalachian State University had defeated No. 5 ranked Michigan 34-32. Now, as we close in on the five-year anniversary of what Head Coach Jerry Moore called the “crowning achievement,” the win is receiving national media attention again.

If you visit CBSSports.com’s college football section, you will see Dennis Dodd’s story on the upset as one of the featured stories of the day. Additionally, a story published yesterday by Jerry Hinnen for CBS Sports reads: “The choice for the biggest upset of the past five years of college football is an easy one: Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32 in the opening week of the 2007 season, the jaw-dropping, history-making upset whose five-year anniversary CBSSports.com’s college football coverage is celebrating this week.”

Hinnen also has a story available at CBS Sports titled “Where were you when Appalachian State won in the Big House?” Fox News highlighted the upcoming anniversary with an Aug. 16 story saying the upset “feels like yesterday.” Even Brain Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press touched on the upset in an Aug. 22 story, with his lead paragraph reading, “Michigan football fans, you might want to cover your eyes before reading this.”

Many called it the greatest upset in college football history – and possibly even in college sports history.

ASU made the front page of the New York Times. Sports Illustrated awarded it the “Biggest Upset of 2007.” Dodd even went as far as to say of the upset, “We may never see its likes again.”

It truly was a special time to be a Mountaineer fan.

A page from the Sept. 6, 2007 issue of High Country Press. Click to enlarge.

Prior to the game in late-August 2007, one odds-maker in Las Vegas joked with High Country Press that Michigan would likely beat ASU by 40, 50, or even 60 points. He was slightly off.

The moment Corey Lynch blocked Michigan’s field goal to seal the upset it truly did change college football forever. It was the first time a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team had ever beaten a ranked Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team. In the aftermath of the upset the Associated Press even changed its policy to allow FCS teams — essentially all of Division I — to receive votes in its poll.

That same year, the Mountaineers went on to finish with a 13-2 record that culminated in their third straight national championship with a 49-21 thrashing of the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens. But even the three-peat may not live on in sports history quite like the win in the Big House in Ann Arbor.

Even now, five years later, you frequently see T-shirts and bumper stickers in Boone that display things like “34-32” and “Michigan Who?” Many local restaurants have pictures or magazines related to the game framed and prominently displayed.

The game

The game itself was a heart-stopper for anyone who was lucky enough to watch it. Michigan jumped out to an early 14-7 lead in the first quarter. ASU was able to fight back and led the game by 11 points going into the half. Then the tide swung back Michigan’s way, as they stormed back to take a 32-31 lead with only 4:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, a 24-yard field goal by Julian Rauch with 26 seconds remaining, followed by the legendary field goal block by Corey Lynch, sealed Michigan’s fate.

The reaction in Boone moments after the game was… well… Boone-like. Hundreds of ASU students scaled the fence into Kidd Brewer Stadium and promptly tore down one of the goal posts. They carried the goal post down Stadium Drive and Rivers Street, though Sanford Mall, past the Plemmons Student Union and up to Chancellor Peacock’s residence.

The vandalism was not punished, and Peacock, who was in Michigan for the game, was quoted upon hearing about it, “It’s all right. As good as today was for Appalachian State, they can take it up there and put it down. I can’t wait to get there and see it.”

Scoring summary
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring Information Score
Length Time Appalachian State Michigan
1 12:31 6 plays, 66 yards 2:29 Michigan Mike Hart 4-yard rush, Jason Gingell kick good 0 7
10:55 3 plays, 74 yards 1:30 Appalachian State Dexter Jackson 68-yard reception from Armanti Edwards, Julian Rauch kick good 7 7
3:16 10 plays, 52 yards 3:38 Michigan Greg Mathews 10-yard reception from Chad Henne, Jason Gingell kick good 7 14
2 13:35 11 plays, 65 yards 4:34 Appalachian State Hans Batichon 9-yard reception from Armanti Edwards, Julian Rauch kick good 14 14
9:47 5 plays, 37 yards 2:15 Appalachian State Dexter Jackson 20-yard reception from Armanti Edwards, Julian Rauch kick good 21 14
2:15 9 plays, 65 yards 4:38 Appalachian State Armanti Edwards 6-yard rush, Julian Rauch kick good 28 14
0:16 10 plays, 63 yards 1:52 Michigan Jason Gingell 22-yard field goal 28 17
3 12:57 5 plays, 14 yards 1:07 Michigan Jason Gingell 42-yard field goal 28 20
8:17 11 plays, 64 yards 4:35 Appalachian State Julian Rauch 31-yard field goal 31 20
0:24 6 plays, 31 yards 2:04 Michigan Mike Hart 4-yard rush, two-point conversion failed 31 26
4 4:36 1 play, 54 yards 0:15 Michigan Mike Hart 54-yard rush, two-point conversion failed 31 32
0:26 7 plays, 69 yards 1:11 Appalachian State Julian Rauch 24-yard field goal 34 32
Final Score 34 32

The rematch

ASU will travel to the “Big House” again to take on Michigan in the season opener in 2014. Fans of ASU (and fans of Ohio State University – Michigan’s biggest rival) would love to see the Mountaineers deal the Wolverines a second loss on their home turf. Only time will tell if another miracle upset is possible. Regardless, however, Sept. 1, 2007 is a day that all ASU fans will always hold close to their hearts.