Final NFL 53-man rosters were due yesterday. As of this morning, ESPN has the following listing for Mountaineers active in the big league.
DJ Smith is on the Panthers practice squad, while De’Andre Presley was put on the physically unable to perform list.
Andrew Peacock was placed on the Lions’ practice squad.
ONE MORE. Tony Washington signs with Jaguars practice squad.
The Mountaineers’ much hyped Ann Arbor rematch ended with a 52-14 loss. It was 35-zip at the half.
That sweet McElfresh TD catch.
Marcus Cox with a 1-yard TD run.
109 – Yard rushing by App State redshirt freshman Terrence Upshaw. His second of 18 touches went for 27. He averaged 6.1-yard average per carry.
9 – App State’s streak of failed third down conversions to open the game. The offense converted 5 of its last 8.
560 – Yards of offense by Michigan. That included 350 rushing yards (9.7 yards per carry).
3:11 – Time span in which Michigan scored 21 points to close the first half. Started with an 8-yard pass with 3:59 left, a 12-yard run with 1:26 left, and 32-yard blocked punt return with :48 left.
“The way they played their defense this game was not what they had shown all last year. They were a big zone team last year. This game they played us straight man the whole game… Maybe it was because we have young receivers, I don’t know.” – App State coach Satterfield, commenting on his team’s defensive effort. There were a lot of missed assignments and missed tackles.
“As I talked about earlier in the week, we would need all 11 players in the right position. On the big runs, if one person is out of their gaps, 10 people could be in the right gap, but if one person is out of the gap that messes everything up and gives them those long runs.” – Mountaineer DE Ronald Blair, on the several long runs by Michigan.
“Every day, for a week and a half, Hoke showed his players the clip of Appalachian State’s last-second blocked field goal in 2007 – a play that stunned Michigan, shocked the college football world and created a dark memory few Wolverine fans will ever forget. ‘Every day,’ Michigan running back De’Veon Smith said. ‘Whenever we went in (to) special teams (meetings), he showed us.’” – mlive.com column.
Both App State-Michigan games ended with a combined 66 points scored.
The last time App State allowed more than 50 points in a game was its 52-28
home loss to The Citadel in 2012.
Only 3 of App State’s remaining 2014 opponents won on opening weekend – UL-Monroe over Wake Forest, Arkansas State over Montana State, and LA-Layfette over Southern. South Alabama had a bye and Idaho-Florida was suspended due to weather (And Georgia State win Wednesday makes four).
The hype has been of two storylines. Redemption for one team, a fond memory for the other.
Today they collide in what we’ve termed A Reckoning – the most successful team in the history of college football seeking redemption against a promising up-and-comer finally walking onto the promised FBS land.
One team is playing to erase the taste of 2007. The other is seeking to show its fans it has potential to make some noise this season.
Michigan versus App State.
GIVE ‘EM HELL!
Nice. But it’s been seven years, and the World Wide Leader still can’t pronounce our name right.
MEANWHILE. In Michigan.
Just …. wow.
Corey Lynch, the man who secured the All-Time Upset, was on the Unpackin’ It radio show today with Bryce Johnson. He was asked by Bryce to discuss the best part about beating Michigan (“The cherry on top of my career”) and was there any downside to it at all.
Superman then just …. wow …
LYNCH: The worst thing that came about it? You know I kinda wish I could go back in time and not block that field goal, um ..
BRYCE: Wha …..
LYNCH: and just let them score. I think that that field goal led to coach Moore’s firing. You know Appalachian State just got a little too big for their britches and, uh, ended up deleting the orchestrator of it all in Coach Moore, and he’s not coaching right now.
In an oral history posted at espn.com today, Lynch went even harsher.
ASU’s Corey Lynch: The sad part to me is I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to Appalachian State. I’m embarrassed to go back there because they fired Coach Moore after all that happened.
Just …. wow.
One of the attractions of college football is the belief that every team, all the athletes and coaches, and all the fans are just one big episode of Full House. No grudges. No rivalries. No bullies. No egos. Promises always kept. Hugs all around at the end of the day. That’s fantasy, and most everyone should know it, but few want to admit it. To suggest so makes you a hater or “not a real fan” or something.
Lynch has always seemed to be one to speak his mind. He doesn’t shy away from expressing his perspective. It’s what made him a leader.
But dude, come on, the timing …..
App State debuts as an FBSer at the site of the greatest upset in FBS football. Lotta emotion expected. Uh-lot. But this time Michigan is prepared. This time App State isn’t as accomplished. This time it will be different. Or so goes the conventional wisdom. We just won’t know until they play the game. Some Michigan fans are expecting a blowout – 50-6, UM? Even last year’s App-Georgia game wasn’t that lopsided. Then again, the Bulldogs weren’t haunted. It was just another game. This one isn’t. O/U – Margin of victory – 24 points.
Here are our thoughts. What are yours?
Spread the offense
Last season App State recorded 4,917 yards of offense. Of that, 1,809 – 38 percent(!) – were via the feet of Marcus Cox. He also scored 21(!) of the team’s 35 touchdowns (second most was Tony Washington with 4). This year the sophomore will be facing deeper, faster, and stronger defenses. New weapons are needed. Simms McElfresh, Barrett Burns and Malachi Jones are the top returning receivers not named “Marcus Cox.” Only Jones caught more than 30 passes last season (31), less than half the touches of the departed Andrew Peacock (78) and Washington (64). Kam Bryant (71 percent(!) completion rate last season) will be working with new targets while helping establish redshirt freshman Terrence Upshaw as a Cox conspirator. That’s a lotta new working parts to mesh.
How quickly will the red shed the green?
It was a well known secret last season that Coach Satterfield went long-term in his rosterizing. A fleet of talented freshmen – described as “the program’s best recruiting class to date” – was given redshirt status and left to learn from the bench. They cover the spectrum, from running back to linebacker. The depth is going to be needed. One of the traditional challenges of an FCS App State facing an FBSer was maintaining fresh legs in the fourth. The scholarship parity is much more equitable now, at least in numbers. The talent needs to be as well.
Is the Coach Satt system set?
Last season App State returned a starting QB and an experienced offensive line. They opened the season at Montana and … oops, botched a snap. Oops, botched a snap. Thus begin a litany of weekly comments from the coach insisting the team was “working on the little things.” Fundamentals, fundamentals, FUN-damentals. The team’s play did improve as the season progressed, but was it thanks to simpler schemes, more repetition or maturation of a new system? Given the aforementioned green on the roster, there’s again potential for early slips on another steep learning curve.
And you are …..?
With the exception of Georgia Southern, App State is conducting the equivalent of 11 first dates. Sure, the Mountaineers played the Wolverines before, but that was three coaches ago. As for the rest of the schedule any history of which to speak is actually ancient history. Six foes are first-ever meetings. Two others were last played in 2000ish. Thus Coach Satt and his staff will be acclimating themselves to new schemes and new personalities weekly. Of course, it works both ways – Sun Belters learning App State – but being the new kid in class carries its own special stresses.
Patience is a virtue and dammit we want it now!
After years of flying high, going sub-sea level hurt. App State went 4-8 last season, with just two wins at home. Betting odds are, this year won’t be much better. There are two – on paper – gimmies on the schedule: Campbell and Georgia State. But the former comes six days after a potentially brutal opening game at the Big House, the latter so bad that it could be easily overlooked. A .500 season is a worthwhile goal, but the Mountaineer faithful are accustomed to higher bars. Pessimism is easy, sure, but it’s expressed just as loud as success. Home attendance will tell.
Actually, there are 1,000,000 good reasons why there is a rematch. Money trumps all. Murica!
Yet some people are expressing mixed feelings about an App State-Michigan round 2. Take for instance these two folk, the coach and the quarterback who won round 1.
“Being 1-0 against Michigan is pretty good in your press guide,” Jerry Moore, who coached the Mountaineers to a historic victory in 2007, said recently.
But then again…
“Maybe 2-0 now, who knows?” Moore said.
Armanti Edwards, who engineered the upset as quarterback in ’07 and now is trying to win a roster spot as a receiver with the Chicago Bears, says he sees both sides.
“I’m kind of straddling the fence,” he said. “I like it in a way we get a chance to beat a team that can’t say we snuck up on. They know we’re coming now. This time they have no excuse. But, on the other side of the fence, I’d like to take the big victory that we had and let that live forever.”
Michigan may also be a tad regretful, given the drumbeat of low attendance stories slung out every few weeks centering often on this game. Even today, less than 48 hours from kickoff, it isn’t a sellout.
As one UM tweeter tweeted – “Who scheduled a rematch? Awful. Stomp App State, and you’re supposed to. It smacks of petty revenge. Lose and become a laughing stock again.”
That’s the Michigan side.
For App State, this game is about grabbing the nation’s sports microphone and giving it a GIVE ‘EM HELL! yeah! That chance doesn’t come often, and maybe never again.
Every major site is having some sorta retrospective on the game. Saturday morning every college YOUR AD HERE pregame show will give a shoutout to the contest, then and now. From noon until 3 every game being broadcast via telly or radio will have announcers giving an occasional update specific to App State-Michigan score, often whimsical. And regardless of the outcome, every YOUR AD HERE recap show will give a shoutout to the rematch.
If App State wins, those shoutouts will be measured in weeks (uh-gin). Lose, and BOOM! it’s over. Normalcy resumes.
SI won’t care about Campbell at App State. That score won’t be name dropped during any ABCCSBNBCESPN broadcasts also in progress. College GameDay won’t trifle with finding camel graphics.
Barring a Boise State re-enactment fantasy come true, the national sports microphone won’t return to Boone until 2017 at the earliest. That is when the all-important inaugural “multiple of 10 anniversary” sets in, and everyone gets to reminisce over redux, my god.
To recap – For playing the rematch, App State gets brief national attention and a phat $1M paycheck (more than double the $400K paid back in 2007).
It ain’t about sentiment. It’s all about C.R.E.A.M. Dollah dollah bills y’all.
Some other remembrances are making the rounds. This one, simply called The Horror, is all kinds of wonderful.
Bill Simmons called it a “drive-by shooting.” Bill Simmons may be wrong about many things many times, and shootings are way worse and involve actual death, but honestly, this is what that felt like. Had this happened to any other team, I’d be watching the blocked kick every ten minutes while cackling to myself maniacally. But it didn’t. It happened to my team. It sucked.
So, coach, does what happened in 2007 make the game Saturday any more difficult?
I don’t think it makes it any more difficult. I think, honestly Michigan is one of the most storied programs in the country. They’re always gonna be picked toward the top … They’re always going to be one of the best teams in the country that you always have to prepare extremely well (for).
Wolverine coach Brady Hoke today spoke on the big rematch this Saturday. Heck of an asterisk, huh?
Our guys know about that game, and it’s the only school on the schedule this year that we have a losing record to. Obviously, I wasn’t here then and neither were the 115 guys on this football, and it won’t be the same Appalachian State team either.
It won’t be the same App team, by far.
In 2007, App State was coming off a second consecutive national title. It had a future two-time Walter Payton award winner at quarterback, the school’s future all-time leading rusher at running back, and the school’s future all-time leader in scoring via boot kicking the ball. Throw in a defensive back who had a knack for big plays, a freshman who became a magnet for interceptions, and a wide receiver with Barry Allen speed.
Dude, that roster was stacked.
The 2014 edition of the Mountaineers has yet to show as many strengths. If anything, it’s the biggest collection of unknowns in recent memory.
One comment from Coach Satterfield has stuck with us since reading it last spring.
“Out of the 102 that we’ll have in the fall, only 39 have played a snap.”
Roughly two-thirds of the roster will have never been in a college football game. That’s not necessarily a crippling concern, but does indicate uh-lot of unknown unknowns for a program coming off its first losing season since Jurassic Park was released.
Also unlike 2007, Michigan ain’t overlooking a thang this time. If anything August 30, 2014 has been all caps, underlined, triple exclamation mark, double circled in red since its scheduling. For the next five days every replay of THE KICK IS BLOCKED! is one more match added to an inferno of motivation.
This isn’t just a game. It’s a reckoning!
Give ‘em hell!
Critch time. “It would be hard for anybody to vastly improve on the numbers he had, but he expects to.”
Meet the backup QB. “Taylor has been really impressive this fall camp and we feel comfortable in his capability to run our offense.”
Reviewing the receiving corps. “We have a lot of young receivers, but they’re talented, and this bunch plays extremely hard.”
And a linebacker preview. “On the mark talent-wise but will enter the season needing improved health and consistency.”
“We should go to the Rose Bowl!” ESPN gives shoutout to the ATU. (Scroll down)
Speaking of the ATU and its heroes. LeGreedy still gettin’ in done.
Sun Belt season starts Wednesday. Big time baby!
More things change. /deep sigh
Kilgore closing in on starting spot. Oh yeah!
McCray maneuvers. FUMBLE!
Quick with a TD. But Bradford gone for season.
Clawson to Edwards. Same roster, different city.
Damn. Indianapolis Colts waived Tony Washington. And Redskins waived Kimbrough.