On This Day: Michigan Upset by App State, A Warning for 2023
To start the 2023 season, the Michigan Wolverines have what many fans would justifiably refer to as a cakewalk. East Carolina, UNLV and Bowling Green all come to the Big House in what should be a series of wins for the Wolverines.
Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff won't like the way I wrote that, but that's the expectation for everyone: fans, media, analysts, and rivals. Everyone expects the number two-ranked team in the country to handle its business.
To be fair, on September 1, 2007, everyone, and I mean everyone, thought the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines would handle business. They did not.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers, which at the time were an FCS program, came into Ann Arbor with a mission and succeeded. The Wolverines lost to the Mountaineers 34-32 to open the regular season.
The Mountaineers, led by quarterback Armanti Edwards, orchestrated a 7-play, 69-yard drive to set up a 24-yard field goal for Julian Rauch, which he sank, giving App State the lead with just 24 seconds to go.
Chad Henne returned fire by connecting with Mario Manningham on a 46-yard pass, putting the Wolverines into field goal range, a 37-yarder for Jason Gingell. Number 47, Corey Lynch of the Mountaineers had other plans, squeezing through the protection, blocking the kick, recovering the loose ball and icing the game.
Michigan fans are haunted by this memory. There's little doubt that many within the fanbase are cautious to boast too much confidence over the next three weeks. After all, the Wolverines will be without head coach Jim Harbaugh for the first four games, with an assortment of coaching combinations managing each football game.
The Wolverines return a dynamic roster that appears primed to make another run at the College Football Playoff and the national championship. The 2007 roster felt the same way. Step one Wolverines, beat the team in front of you this week.