ASU-Michigan for 2014

By Steve Behr (steve.behr@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Aug. 25, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 6, 2011

Lightning has a chance to strike in the same place once again for Appalachian State's football program.

The Appalachian State athletic department announced that it would play at Michigan in the 2014 season. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon after final details were worked out.

Appalachian State shocked the college football world when it upset the Wolverines 34-32 in the 2007 season opener. It was regarded as one of the biggest upsets in college football history. Michigan returned several players who were up for preseason awards and were ranked fifth nationally.

Appalachian State was coming off its second Football Championship Subdivision, was ranked No. 1 in the FCS, and went on to win its third FCS championship.

ASU received a $400,000 guarantee to make the trip to Ann Arbor, Mich. It was the first time an FCS program beat a nationally ranked FBS team.

Appalachian State will receive $800,000 if it is an FCS team. That figure goes up to $1 million if the Mountaineers are members of the FBS.
"To have the University of Michigan invite us back is the ultimate compliment for us as a program and a university," ASU head coach Jerry Moore said in a statement. "We're grateful for the opportunity to have a new generation of players experience a gameday at the Big House and to test themselves against college football's all-time winningest program."

The Wolverines have not been the same since. Michigan was blown out by Oregon the following week, but recovered to finish 8-5, including a victory over Florida in the Capital One Bowl.

A total of 39 players that suited up for the 2007 ASU-Michigan battle went on to be drafted or play in the National Football League, including Appalachian's Corey Lynch, Armanti Edwards, Dexter Jackson, Daniel Kilgore, Mark LeGree and D.J. Smith.

Appalachian State usually schedules Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The Mountaineers open the season Sept. 3 at preseason ACC favorite Virginia Tech, and finished the 2010 season with a 48-10 loss to Florida.

Appalachian State also has a game scheduled with Georgia in 2013. The Mountaineers also host FCS power Montana in 2012 and at Montana in 2013. ASU is scheduled to host McNeese State in 2014 and play at the Cowboys in 2015.

Montana plays McNeese State in 2016 and 2017.

ASU is working with McNeese State, who it was originally scheduled to open the 2014 season against, to find an alternative date for their game in Lake Charles, La. All NCAA Division I teams (FBS or FCS) are permitted to play 12 games in 2014, meaning that two non-conference road contests would not preclude Appalachian from playing its traditional six home games that season.

"For many people, their introduction Appalachian State University came from the exposure that we were fortunate to receive after our football team played at the Big House in 2007," ASU director of athletics Charlie Cobb said. "Among those people are a large number of student-athletes that are or will wind up being a part of our football program. It will be an honor and a privilege to give those student-athletes the opportunity to compete on one of college football's biggest stages."

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