The college football season started out with a bang on Saturday as App. State shocked the college football world with their stunning 34-32 win over #5 Michigan in the Big House.
App. State received $400,000 for their visit to Ann Arbor but none of the 100,000 plus in attendance would have believed before the game that the ‘Neers would also leave town with a win in their back pocket.
Coach Jerry Moore and his Mountaineers are the two-time defending I-AA National Champions. Even before Saturday’s result, they looked like the odds on favorite to make it three in a row. Now, they look like a lock. Of course, football is a funny game. Just ask Michigan. Showing up sometimes just isn’t enough. App will need to keep that in mind as their season progresses.
App. State is better than most would give them credit for. The Mountaineers’ talent level is on-par with that of a mid-level team in a BCS conference. Combine that with the fact that this team just knows how to win and you can make a case that this wasn’t Charlotte Independence beating the Dallas Cowboys. Still, it was a big upset and I was fortunate enough to be able to follow it on the radio, listening to David Jackson’s call of the action.
Jackson did a great job and you can tell that he really loves App. State. The excitement in his voice and the pure joy after Michigan’s final field goal attempt was blocked was a real pleasure to listen to.
Jackson’s call of the end of the game got plenty of national exposure as did the play of Mountaineer QB Armanti Edwards. Wow, where did this kid come from? The true sophmore played great and looked right at home on one of college football’s biggest stages. When ESPN did their “Helmet Sticker” segment, Mark May gave a helmet sticker to Edwards for his performance. Since they did not have an App. State helmet, Edwards’ sticker was placed on a black ESPN helmet. It might be time for the folks in Bristol (Conn. not Tenn.) to spring for a Mountaineers’ helmet.
The thing that I think might be overshadowed the most by the end result is the fact that this was a heck of a game, no matter how you slice it. The final five minutes provided a super finish, regardless of who was playing. If this had been Michigan-Ohio State, people would be saying that this was a finish for the ages. Since it was App. State, rather than Ohio State, folks are calling it an upset for the ages.
In Boone, it will simply go down as a game for the ages.