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App State dominates ESPN

Nice. But it’s been seven years, and the World Wide Leader still can’t pronounce our name right.

bigtime

MEANWHILE. In Michigan.

Lynch: I wish I hadn’t blocked that kick

heroJust …. 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 …..

Wow.

Predictions – The rematch

thereturnApp 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.

5 storylines to the 2014 season

Wow ... no faces on the coverHere 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.

Should we even be playing this game?

PosterActually, 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.

Let’s just all relive 2007, shall we

Timeless

stalebutfun

legends

Outstanding package.

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.

Coach Satterfield on the rematch

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).

The rematch awaits

Such an awesome photoWolverine 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!

APP-propre links

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.

Who’s packing the stadium

App State opens its inaugural FBS season at the Big House in less than a week! Last time the Mountaineers and Wolverines tangled, a packed house of 109,208 witnessed the All-Time Upset!

Expected crowd for the 2014 rematch? Uh, not so many.

It’s come to this – Michigan is hocking tickets on …. Living Social?

We shant mock, simply because we wonder about attendance at The Rock this season.

For the first time that we can remember, the mothership hasn’t produced any articles hyping attendance at the recent Fan Fest or season tickets sales. There’s also the odd nature of three season tickets types – full, half and flex (aka. a la carte).

We aren’t snarking. Do what ya gotta do to sell tickets. Especially considering that, for the first time in school history, every home game will be available on a small screen near you – “As part of that relationship, all six App State football home games are currently slated to appear on an ESPN outlet this season (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews or ESPN3).”

In the age of man caves and HD home television, what kinda hit, if any, will App State take on home attendance? Drop $100 and a day traveling from Charlotte to sit among +20,000, or take three hours to watch App-Campbell in your living room chair with no line at the restroom?

So we ask ….

Cox recovering from knee surgery

Get well soon“Minor” – “Cox, a sophomore who led the Mountaineers in rushing last season, had surgery on his meniscus last week, and has not practiced all this week. Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield said the surgery was minor and did not rule out the possibility that Cox could play in the Aug. 30 game against Michigan. “We hope so,” Satterfield said. Terrance Upshaw is up next on the depth chart if Cox can’t play.” App State has long tradition of playing Belichick with injuries, but missing a week of practice ain’t the most optimistic of details.

He helped transform Appalachian

RIPRIP – “On August 15, 2014, the Lord welcomed Ned Reeves Trivette home. Dougherty’s untimely death in 1964 placed Ned in a position of responsibility for the fiscal and physical affairs of Appalachian. For the next 25 years, Ned helped facilitate the transformation of a teacher’s college into a university of more than 11,000 students. After serving the University for over thirty years, the administration announced that the new food services building on the west side of campus overlooking the scenic Duck Pond would be named Ned and Maxine Trivette Hall.”