Appalachian State at Michigan

Upset for the ages: Appalachian State takes down No. 5 Michigan

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Chances are, most of the 110,000 fans at the Big House had no idea exactly where Appalachian State is located.

By the time they saw a blocked field goal in final seconds, this much was certain: The little Mountaineers pulled off one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

Who is Appalachian State?
Appalachian State Appalachian State is ranked No. 1 in the preseason I-AA poll and is coming off back-to-back national titles. Coming into the game vs. Michigan, it had six I-A victories -- all against Wake Forest.
Location: Boone, N.C.
Established: 1899
Enrollment: 15,000
First season of football: 1928
Famous players: Dexter Coakley, LB (1993-96); Bjorn Nitmo, K (1985-88)
Other memorable games: It shocked Wake Forest 20-16 in 2000 and 30-27 in overtime in 1998. In 1999, it lost a heartbreaker to Auburn 22-15.

Appalachian State 34, No. 5 Michigan 32.

The team from Boone, N.C., took the lead with 26 seconds left when Julian Rauch kicked a 24-yard field goal. Corey Lynch blocked a 37-yard try on the final play, and the Mountaineers sealed a jaw-dropping upset that might have no equal.

"It was David versus Goliath," Appalachian State receiver Dexter Jackson said.

Michigan's three stars on offense and its coach came back this season, putting the NFL and retirement on hold, with high hopes.

Big Ten title. National championship.

Looks like it might be time for Plan B.

Mike Hart, Chad Henne and Jake Long never envisioned stumbling this early in what was a promising year.

Neither did coach Lloyd Carr, who looked ashen as the upset unfolded.

It didn't take long to notice the second-tier power belonged on the same field because it made up for a slight size disadvantage with superior speed and, perhaps, more passion.

The two-time defending champions from former Division I-AA were ahead of the nation's winningest program 28-14 late in the second quarter, before their storybook afternoon seemed to unravel late in the fourth quarter.

Hart's 54-yard run with 4:36 left put the Wolverines ahead for the first time since early in the second quarter.

One snap after the go-ahead touchdown, Michigan's Brandent Englemon intercepted an errant pass, but the Wolverines couldn't capitalize and had their first of two field goals blocked.

Then Appalachian State drove 69 yards without a timeout in 1:11 to set up the go-ahead field goal.

"I've been dreaming about that kick every day," Rauch said.

Still, it wasn't over.

Henne threw a 46-yard pass to Mario Manningham, giving Michigan the ball at Appalachian State's 20 with six seconds left and putting the Wolverines in position to win it with a field goal.

Lynch blocked the kick and almost returned 52 yards to the 18 as the final seconds ticked off. His teammates rushed across the field to pile on as the coaching staff and cheerleaders jumped with joy.

"We're still sort of shocked," coach Jerry Moore said after being carried off the field by his players.

Appalachian State has won 15 straight games, the longest streak in the nation. The Mountaineers are favored to win the Football Championship Subdivision, but they weren't expected to put up much of a fight against a team picked to win the Big Ten and contend for the national title.

That's the beauty of college football.

No Division I-AA team had beaten a team ranked in the Associated Press poll from 1989-2006, and it's unlikely that it had ever happened before. The Division I subdivisions were created in 1978.

"It is one of the biggest losses ever, but give all the credit to Appalachian State," Hart said.

The Mountaineers are not eligible to receive votes in the AP Top 25 poll because they're not in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Appalachian State's win does seem to trump the game second-tier programs used to regard as their crowning achievement -- The Citadel's season-opening win in 1992 over Arkansas that led to the firing of Razorbacks coach Jack Crowe following the game.

Carr will not get fired after this upset, but he might be wishing he had retired after last season when the Wolverines won 11 games before closing with losses to Ohio State and USC.

When it was over, he didn't second-guess decisions to go for 2-point conversions twice in the final 15-plus minutes, but did lament many mistakes, penalties and missed opportunities.

"We were not a well-prepared football team," Carr said. "That is my job, and I take full responsibility."

The Mountaineers improved to 7-36-1 against top-tier teams since 1978, the previous six victories all over Wake Forest, and took home a $400,000 check from Michigan to boot.

Armanti Edwards threw for 227 yards, three scores and two interceptions, and kept Michigan guessing with his mobility. He also ran for 62 yards. Jackson caught three passes for 92 yards, and scored twice, including his 68-yard reception that tied the game early and provided a glimpse of what was to come.

Hart, who went almost two quarters without a carry because of a thigh injury, ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns. Henne was 19-of-37 for 233 yards in a lackluster game that included a TD and an interception in Mountaineer territory.

Ordinarily those numbers should've been good enough for a win over a small school. Not on this day and not against Appalachian State.

"Someone said it might be one of the big victories in college football," Moore said. "It may be the biggest."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Appalachian State's Kevin Richardson quiets the Big House with 88 yards on 24 carries.  (AP)
Appalachian State's Kevin Richardson quiets the Big House with 88 yards on 24 carries. (AP)

 

Latest Video

July 25, 2014
Anwar Richardson on Longhorn football (5:07)
1 July 24, 2014
Stoops fires back
(1:32)
2 July 24, 2014
Jim Rome Newsmaker: Derek Mason
(3:39)
3 July 23, 2014
Inside College Football: SEC picks and predictions
(4:18)
Related Links
 
 
Scoring Summary
MIMIKE HART 4 YD RUN (JASON GINGELL KICK)
APLSTDEXTER JACKSON 68 YD PASS FROM ARMANTI EDWARDS (JULIAN RAUCH KICK)
MIGREG MATHEWS 10 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (JASON GINGELL KICK)
APLSTHANS BATICHON 9 YD PASS FROM ARMANTI EDWARDS (JULIAN RAUCH KICK)
APLSTDEXTER JACKSON 20 YD PASS FROM ARMANTI EDWARDS (JULIAN RAUCH KICK)
APLSTARMANTI EDWARDS 6 YD RUN (JULIAN RAUCH KICK)
MIJASON GINGELL 22 YD FG
MIJASON GINGELL 42 YD FG
APLSTJULIAN RAUCH 31 YD FG
MIMIKE HART 4 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT RUSH)
MIMIKE HART 54 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT RUSH)
APLSTJULIAN RAUCH 24 YD FG
 
Team Stats
 APLSTMI
First Downs1923
Third Down Efficiency7-137-15
Fourth Down Efficiency0-00-2
Plays-Net Yards67-38777-479
Rushes-Yds44-16040-246
Passing Yds227233
Kick Return Yds151121
Punt Return Yds1814
Passes17-23-219-37-1
Punts4-1323-146
Fumbles-Lost1-12-1
Penalties-Yds7-457-56
Time of Poss.31:1228:48
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
APLST: Kevin Richardson 24-88, Armanti Edwards 17-62, Dexter Jackson 1-19, CoCo Hillary 1--4, Team 1--5
MI: Mike Hart 23-188, Brandon Minor 13-50, Mario Manningham 2-9, Chad Henne 2--1
PASSING
APLST: Armanti Edwards 17-23-227-2
MI: Chad Henne 19-37-233-1
RECEIVING
APLST: CoCo Hillary 4-63, Dexter Jackson 3-92, T.J. Courman 3-30, Hans Batichon 3-22, Kevin Richardson 2-3, Josh Johnson 1-11, Matt Cline 1-6
MI: Greg Mathews 7-68, Adrian Arrington 4-52, Mario Manningham 3-66, Mike Massey 3-36, Brandon Minor 1-10, Mark Moundros 1-1
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Appalachian State1st Sun Belt 0-00-0