Remembering an upset for the ages

Kevin Richardson

Seven years ago, a little-known school from Boone, North Carolina, went into the Big House and pulled off one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

Appalachian State's 34-32 win at Michigan marked the first time an FCS team had ever beaten a ranked FBS opponent. It also helped change the course of both programs forever.

As the two teams prepare to meet again on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we take a look at how the 2007 game happened and how its impact is still being felt today in this oral history:

An 'opportunity' arises

Lloyd Carr's Wolverines were ranked No. 5 in the preseason and were viewed as legitimate national title contenders, with stars like offensive tackle Jake Long, quarterback Chad Henne, receiver Mario Manningham and running back Mike Hart all returning, though the team did lose seven defensive starters from the 2006 Rose Bowl squad. Appalachian State had won back-to-back FCS national titles. Michigan and Appalachian State both had late openings on their 2007 schedules, and the game was not announced until February of that year. The Mountaineers received a $400,000 guarantee.

Jerry Moore, Appalachian State head coach, 1989-2012: Jay Sutton, our associate AD, came to me and said Michigan had contacted him about a game. My first thought was, "Whatever it takes, let's play them." Most people refer to games like that as money games. I always referred to it as an opportunity game. I said, "We'll never play them again. We'll go there one time. It's a great opportunity for this school and a great opportunity for our guys to do something they'll remember the rest of their lives."

Corey Lynch, Appalachian State safety, 2004-07: They were loaded.

Greg Mathews, Michigan receiver, 2006-09: To me, that was probably one of the most talented teams Michigan has ever had. Unfortunately, it didn't show all the time.

Dexter Jackson, Appalachian State receiver, 2004-07: We were tight-knit. We had a lot of swagger about us, coming off those two national championships. We knew we had a lot of talent on our team, and we knew we were ready to play against everyone.

ASU's Corey Lynch: Our confidence level was as high as any FCS team's could ever be.

ASU's Jerry Moore: We were pretty realistic about knowing our personnel compared to their personnel. So we didn't start getting ready for them in August. We started getting ready as soon as we knew the game was happening. We knew that conditioning was going to be huge.

U-M's Greg Mathews: I had never heard of them. Even watching their film, it was really grainy and bad quality. I felt like I was watching a high school highlight tape or something. I personally wasn't worried or concerned about the game.

Carlos Brown, Michigan running back, 2006-09: I had some friends who played in the same league as them, so I knew they had a lot of athletes. But it never crossed my mind that they had a shot at beating us.

Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State quarterback, 2006-09: During our summer workouts, they played the Michigan fight song over and over. It made everybody annoyed. We had watched a lot of film of their game against Ohio State [in 2006] and Michigan was having a hard time stopping the spread. That gave us a lot of confidence right there.

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