for this game

Appalachian St. holds on for shocking upset of Michigan

Sep 1, 2007 - 10:33 PM ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- Appalachian State did not take long to make its latest season a memorable one.

Julian Rauch's second field goal of the game, a 24-yarder with 26 seconds remaining, lifted two-time NCAA Division I Subdivision champion Appalachian State to a shocking 34-32 upset over No. 5 Michigan on Saturday.

"Obviously, we're still sort of shocked, but not really," Mountaineers coach Jerry Moore said. "It's just been a great afternoon for our team and our school to come up here and beat a team like Michigan with its rich tradition. We tried not to make more of this that it was but winning up here in one of the most elite places, not just in football but in all of sports.

"I don't mean this egotistically, but we were looking forward to this to see what we could do. That's why I worked them hard in practice. I was the only guy in Boone, N.C., that wanted it to be hot. I wanted to work them."

Moore tried to keep the victory in perspective.

"You have to remember that these guys have won two national championships," he said. "This is not bigger than that. But they may never do anything better than what they did today."

Rauch said that he did not want to let his teammates down when he lined up for the winning field goal.

"The only thing that went through my head was, 'man, all the things these guys did the whole game.' It wasn't a lot of work for me but it was for the other guys on the team," he said.

Michigan's Jason Gingell had a chance to avoid the monumental upset with six seconds remaining, but his 37-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by the Mountaineers' Corey Lynch.

Lynch picked up the loose ball and raced down the field inside the Michigan 10 before being tackled with no time remaining, completely silencing the faithful at Michigan Stadium.

"We practiced a lot on blocking field goals," Lynch said. "Julian gets mad at us a lot because we block a lot of his kicks. On this one, I went inside and it (hit) my chest. I wanted to score a touchdown in the 'Big House' but I just ran out of gas."

Rauch felt some sympathy for Gingell.

"First, he's probably jealous for my situation, and second, he's hurting for everyone in his locker room," Rauch said.

Mike Hart, who did not play for most of the second and third quarters because "he got a little dinged up", scored his third touchdown of the game on a 54-yard run with 4:36 remaining to give Michigan a 32-31 lead. Hart finished with 23 carries for 188 yards.

"It's a great win for them and a huge loss for us," Hart said. "But it's better in Week 1 than in Week 12. It was quiet in the locker room, but everyone's heads were held high."

Hart said that he didn't expect any finger-pointing after the disappointing defeat.

"We have too much leadership and the team is too together to have that happen," he said. "We all know that we have to work hard. We beat ourselves. We made too many mistakes, but those things are all correctible."

Linebacker Shawn Crable expected repercussions from the Wolverines' fans.

"People will be down on us, but we're still in the fight for the championship," Crable said. "We have to be ready to play all the time. In the second half, we came to play, but we dug a hole for ourselves in the first half."

Gingell, who replaced the graduated Garrett Rivas as Michigan's place kicker, had a 33-yard field-goal attempt blocked with a little over a minute and a half remaining. That set up Appalachian State's final scoring drive.

Key plays in the 69-yard drive were a 17-yard run by quarterback Armanti Edwards, who also had passes of 20 yards to T.J. Courman and 24 yards to CoCo Hillary. That last one got the Mountaineers down to the Michigan 5-yard line.

It was Appalachian State's seventh victory against a BCS school and the first since the Mountaineers beat Wake Forest, 20-16, in 2000.

It was also the 15th straight win for Appalachian State - the longest winning streak in Division I.

Appalachian State, who built a 28-14 lead late in the second quarter, had mistakes allow Michigan back into the game. Morgan Trent's interception of a pass by Edwards at the Mountaineers' 39-yard line led to Gingell's 43-yard field goal in the opening minutes of the third.

Rauch later kicked a 31-yard field goal to restore Appalachian State's 11-point advantage at 31-20.

Edwards then fumbled on a hit by Shawn Crable and John Thompson recovered it at the Mountaineers' 31 six plays before Hart scored on a four-yard run to cut the deficit to 31-26.

The Mountaineers, who won the last two NCAA Division I Subdivision championships - formerly known as Division I-AA, stunned the crowd of 109,218 at the "Big House" by scoring the first three touchdowns of the second quarter to take the 28-14 lead.

"They came out ready to play and had a great game plan in the first half," Crable said. "Their quarterback was looking to the sidelines and checking off."

Edwards said the outcome was a result of hours of film study.

"We've been studying tape real hard all year and we saw some things in their defense and we executed," Edwards said. "On offense, we knew that we could play with anyone."

Moore said that Edwards's quiet demeanor is a reason the Mountaineers use a no-huddle offense much of the time.

"Edwards is a real leader, but he's quiet," Moore said. "That's the reason we go no-huddle - because he don't talk."

Michigan led 14-7 on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Greg Mathews with 3:16 left in the first quarter.

Appalachian State tied the game on a 65-yard drive that ended with a nine-yard scoring pass to Hans Batichon. The scoring play was set up by Dexter Jackson's 19-yard run on a reverse.

Jackson also figured in the Mountaineers' next scoring drive. He returned Zoltan Mesko's punt 18 yards and the Wolverines were called for a late hit, giving Appalachian State a first down at the Michigan 37.

Five plays later, Jackson took a screen pass from Edwards and went 20 yards for the score to put the Mountaineers ahead, 21-14.

Michigan was stopped on downs at the Appalachian State 35 on its next possession, and the Mountaineers marched 65 yards in nine plays to take a 28-14 lead on Edwards' six-yard keeper with 2:15 remaining in the half.

Edwards completed 17-of-23 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns.

Henne, who was off the mark on many of his throws, went 19-of-37 passes for 233 yards, including a 46-yarder to Mario Manningham to set up Gingell's final field-goal attempt.

"As coaches and players, we all have to search and take a look at ourselves, understanding that this is a disappointment," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "Not only losing, but to play the way we did is an even greater disappointment. When you have disappointment, you can lay down and feel sorry for yourself, but in our case, this schedule is about to get tougher. We will see how we respond."

Michigan will look to rebound when it hosts unranked Oregon next Saturday. Appalachian State will return to South Carolina to face former North State/Carolinas Conference rival Lenoir-Rhyne.