Bigger Upset: James Madison '10 vs. Appalachian State '07
When Appalachian State shocked the world, blocking a last second field goal against the powerful Michigan Wolverines, it was deemed the greatest upset in college football history. But let the debate begin after No. 13 Virginia Tech was defeated by the James Madison Dukes this past weekend.
When Appalachian State rolled into the Big House on September 1, 2007, the thought of an upset was not even an option. Appalachian State receiver Dexter Jackson said it best, "It was David vs. Goliath."
The Appalachian State defense saw three future NFL players starting at key positions in front of them. Chad Henne was at quarterback, Mike Hart at running back, and Jake Long on the offensive line.
Too bad Appalachian State had nothing to lose in this game. Similar to James Madison this past Saturday, the Mountaineers fell behind early, but rallied back scoring 21 unanswered points to put them ahead 28-14 late in the first half.
Michigan wasn't going to give up easily in this one, they brought it all the way back, scoring a touchdown with under five minutes left in the game to put them ahead 32-31, but the Mountaineers took it down and made a 24-yard field goal with less than 30 seconds in the game.
The 110,000 fans in the Big House were shocked. They couldn't believe what they were witnessing, then Mario Manningham caught at 46-yard pass to put the Wolverines in field goal range with six seconds to go in the game.
But just when it seemed that the game had been handed back to the favored Michigan squad, the Mountaineers blocked their field goal on the last play of the game to devastate Wolverine faithful everywhere.
At the time, nobody could believe what they just witnessed. This was the fifth ranked team in the country knocked off in their home opener to a Division 1-AA school.
And now the college football nation is going through this same situation again after James Madison beat Virginia Tech in comeback fashion.
The win over the Hokies was done mostly on the ground. Whether it was Drew Dudzik rushing for two touchdowns in the second half, or Virginia Tech fumbling the football in the sloppy weather conditions, James Madison won this game in the trenches.
Virginia Tech was vulnerable to a letdown in this game, coming off of a last minute loss to Boise State in a game that seemed to have National Championship implications at the time. After the 21-16 loss to James Madison, the Hokies have fallen to 0-2 on the year.
Until Virginia Tech show us something more, Appalachian State still owns the biggest upset of all-time in college football in my book. However, James Madison had a great win for their program, and this was a very exciting game to watch.
So give it out to both teams, because these major upsets are why we all love college football, and I know there are more to come.
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