Nov. 30, 2012. No. 7/6 Appalachian State University begins its quest for a fourth national championship when it hosts No. 16/15 Illinois State in the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Great seats still remain for Saturday’s second-round matchup. Tickets can be purchased:
• online by clicking here
• by phone at (828) 262-2079 (Friday – 9 a.m.-4 p.m.)
• in person at the Appalachian State athletics ticket office (Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.)
• in person at the Kidd Brewer Stadium ticket plaza (Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.)
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live and exclusively on ESPN3.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on the Appalachian IMG Sports Network. Live coverage begins at noon with Pigskin Prelude. Click here for a full list of Appalachian IMG Sports Network affiliates.
Noting Saturday’s Matchup
Appalachian State (8-3, 6-2 SoCon) won its final three games of the regular season to claim a share of its seventh Southern Conference championship in eight years.
Illinois State (8-3, 5-3 MVC) won its first five games of the regular season but lost three of its final six tilts and finished in a tie for third in the Missouri Valley Football Conference standings.
Appalachian State is making its eighth-straight postseason appearance and is in the NCAA Division I Football Championship for the 20th time overall. The Mountaineers are 24-16 (.600) in 40 previous playoff games.
Appalachian won the 2005, 2006 and 2007 national championships and is the only program to ever win three-straight NCAA Divsion I FCS/I-AA titles, dating back to the subdivision’s creation in 1978. The Mountaineers are the only Division I program (FCS/I-AA or FBS/I-A) to win three-consecutive national championships since Army achieved the feat from 1944-46.
Illinois State’s postseason berth is first since 2006 and its fourth overall. The Redbirds are 3-3 in six previous playoff games.
Appalachian State and Illinois State are meeting for the first time.
Appalachian is 4-0 all-time against current members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, with all four matchups versus MVC opponents coming in the FCS playoffs.
For the third-straight time since the NCAA Division I Football Championship field expanded to 20 teams in 2010, Appalachian State received a first-round bye.
Due to a bye on the final weekend of the regular season (Nov. 17) and the first-round playoff bye, the Mountaineers have a 21-day break between games, which is tied for the longest span between contests in the program’s 82-year history. Appalachian also had 21 days between games at Presbyterian (L, 14-7 on Oct. 30) and at Tampa (L, 25-20 on Nov. 20) in 1954.
Individual talent abounds for both teams. Appalachian State features finalists for the Walter Payton Award (FCS National Player of the Year – QB Jamal Jackson), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS Defensive Player of the Year – LBJeremy Kimbrough and CB Demetrius McCray) and Jerry Rice Award (WR Sean Price), as well as the league’s co-Defensive Player of the Year (Kimbrough) and Freshman of the Year (Price). Illinois State counters with its own Buchanan Award finalist (DE Colton Underwood) and the MVC Offensive Player of the Year (QB Matt Brown).
For all of the information on Saturday’s matchup, including links to live video, audio and stats, both teams’ rosters, depth charts, game notes and much more, click HERE to visit GoASU.com’s official Gameday Central page.