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Appalachian State (0-0) at Michigan (0-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, August 30, 12 p.m. (ET).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Michigan Stadium (109,901) -- Ann Arbor, Michigan. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: ASU 0-0, UM 0-0. Away Record: ASU 0-0, UM 0-0. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, UM 0-0. Conference Record: ASU 0-0, UM 0-0. Series Record: Appalachian State leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: The Appalachian State Mountaineers will try to pull off a repeat of one of the most notable upsets in college football history when they return to Ann Arbor to kick off the 2014 season against the Michigan Wolverines.

The Mountaineers, then a member of the FCS, stunned Michigan in The Big House with a 34-32 victory in the 2007 season opener. It marked the first time a FCS school beat a ranked team from the FBS, as UM was No. 5 in both major polls at the time.

Appalachian State joined the Sun Belt Conference this summer, and the 2014 opener marks the program's first-ever game as a member of the FBS after establishing itself as a perennial national title contender at the FCS level. Last season was the team's first since 1988 without legendary head coach Jerry Moore, who led the way to three straight FCS national championships from 2005-07. New coach Scott Satterfield guided the Mountaineers to a 4-7 finish, marking Appalachian's first losing season since 1993.

Michigan went 7-6 last season, one year after an 8-5 finish and two years removed from an 11-win campaign in Brady Hoke's debut as head coach. After jumping out to a 5-0 start and a No. 18 ranking in the AP Top-25, the Wolverines went on to drop five of their final six games, including a lopsided loss to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. UM has won its last five home openers since falling to the Mountaineers in 2007.

Appalachian State returns eight starters from an offense that averaged a rather pedestrian 23.6 ppg and 409.8 ypg last season. Considering the jump in competition, it is tough to envision a drastic improvement on those numbers. One player who will have something to say about that is quarterback Kameron Bryant, who completed 71 percent of his passes for 2,713 yards and 14 touchdowns (plus three rushing) with only four interceptions last year as a sophomore. Bryant will team up in the backfield with another sophomore, multi- threat tailback Marcus Cox, who tallied 1,250 rushing yards, 559 receiving yards and 21 total touchdowns. Despite losing their top two receivers from a year ago, expect the Mountaineers to deploy an up-tempo attack with all five offensive line starters back in the fold.

ASU's defensive efforts were far from special last season, as the unit allowed 28.0 ppg and 400.5 ypg, while forcing a modest 18 turnovers. However, seven starters return on that side of the ball. Up front, Deuce Robinson (7.0 TFL), Thomas Bronson (3.5 TFL) and Stephen Burns (4.0 TFL) need to improve upon their three combined sacks. In fact, the entire defense posted just eight sacks for the season, so playing time in the trenches is by no means set in stone. John Law is a playmaker in the middle, having recorded 71 tackles, three interceptions and a forced fumble in 2013. Kennan Gilchrist (59 tackles) also returns to the linebacking corps. Joel Ross (56 tackles, INT) and Doug Middleton (46 tackles, two INTs) bring valuable experience to the secondary.

Michigan has some pretty big holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball. Wideout Jeremy Gallon caught 89 passes for 1,373 yards (105.6 ypg) and nine touchdowns last season, while Fitzgerald Toussaint led the team in rushing with 648 yards and 13 scores. Both are gone, along with star offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, who was drafted with the 11th overall pick by the Tennessee Titans.

Still, the cupboard is not entirely bare. At quarterback, three-year letterman Devin Gardner returns. Gardner threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 21 touchdowns last year, in addition to amassing almost 500 yards and 11 more scores on the ground. Although he won't have his favorite target in Gallon, Gardner figures to feed more targets to Devin Funchess, who won the Big Ten's Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year award in 2013. Running the show now for the offense is former University of Alabama coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

The Wolverines must replace some beef up front in former defensive tackles Jibreel Black and Quinton Washington, and they won't have strong safety Thomas Gordon making calls in the secondary. Defensive end Frank Clark is on the Ted Hendricks Award watch list after racking up 12 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 7 quarterback hurries and a pair of fumble recoveries in 2013. At cornerback, All-Big Ten selection Blake Countess returns after picking off six passes last season. However, all eyes are seemingly on true freshman Jabrill Peppers, widely considered the No. 2 prospect in this year's incoming class who has already drawn comparisons to former Michigan Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson.

This time around, the circumstances are quite a bit different than when these teams faced off in 2007 and both were at the height of their respective powers. While the Mountaineers will be granted some time to feel their way around not just a new conference, but a new level of competition altogether, Hoke and the Wolverines know they can, under no circumstance, afford to lose this rematch. If a more focused UM squad starts to run away with this one, don't be shocked if the dogs aren't called off right away.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan 57, Appalachian State 17

08/29 15:15:48 ET

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Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
FLA 1
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7:00pm Tonight
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Final
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GSW 111
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
CLE 113
WAS 87
Final
DET 98
LAC 104
Final
DAL 109
NYK 102
Final
ATL 115
TOR 126
Final
MIN 86
MIL 103
Final
HOU 102
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Final
OKC 97
UTA 82
Final
SAN 106
IND 100
Final
PHO 120
DEN 112
Final
LAL 93
MEM 99
7:30pm Tonight
TEXAM
LSU
7:30pm Tonight
TEX
TCU
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
Final
WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
Final
MINN 61
STJ 70
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
Final
CORN 67
CAN 60
Final
WVU 103
VMI 72
Final
DEP 74
LEH 86
 
Final
UNT 67
MVSU 52
 
Final
MARS 68
MORE 77
Final
TCU 74
RAD 50
 
Final
SELA 86
TENT 65
 
Final
SMU 72
TXSOU 59
 
Final
UTAH 85
TXPA 48
Final
LMU 66
UCR 62
Final
SCAR 89
UNCA 75
 
Final
SD 86
WAYNEST 69
 
Final
PITT 70
KYST 47
Final
UWGB 59
FLGC 45
Final
IOWA 70
NILL 49
Final
ORST 69
AUB 71
Final
MONT 75
CARROLLMT 52
 
Final
SUTAH 64
EKENT 73
Final
NMST 78
FAM 33
 
Final
WYO 65
STET 41
 
Final
EWASH 81
NKENTUCKY 60
 
Final
IDST 57
WLVRN 60
 
Final
GEOR 66
UF 65
Final
GONZ 88
UGA 76
 
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NIOWA 61
NW 42
Final
CAL 72
CPSL 52
Final
UCD 77
UTST 70
Final
SDST 59
ARZ 61
 
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NDAK 75
ALAST 68
Final
CSNO 55
PORST 63
2nd
AKAN 59
PAC 67
 
2nd
OKST 69
TULSA 52
 
2:00am Today
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MIZST
12:00pm Today
TENN
SCU
 
12:00pm Today
RMU
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1:00pm Today
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2:00pm Today
BRO
PEAY
 
2:00pm Today
UTEP
PRIN
 
2:30pm Today
CHAT
CCAR
 
2:30pm Today
RIU
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3:30pm Today
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3:30pm Today
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WISC
 
4:00pm Today
USB
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4:30pm Today
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5:00pm Tonight
INDST
ILL
 
6:00pm Tonight
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6:00pm Tonight
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6:30pm Tonight
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11:00pm Tonight
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11:59pm Tonight
MEM
BAY
 
11:59pm Tonight
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Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
Final
FLA 1
CAR 0
Final
TAM 4
NYR 3
Final
DET 5
PHI 2
Final
PIT 4
TOR 3
Final
MIN 0
LOS 4
Final
COL 2
CHI 3
Final
SJS 0
CAL 2
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
EDM
 
12:30pm Today
DET
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4:30pm Today
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8:30pm Tonight
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