One might conclude that Appalachian State is no stranger to going into hostile territory and knocking off highly ranked teams.
The most famous incident came in 2007 when the Mountaineers, then an FCS power, went to Ann Arbor and defeated No. 5 Michigan. On Saturday, Appalachian State picked up perhaps its biggest win as an FBS program.
One week after dropping a heartbreaker at home to North Carolina, Appalachian State went into College Station and defeated No. 6 Texas A&M, 17-14. For their efforts, the Mountaineers are the Fifth Quarter/CFBHome Team of the Week.
App State Defense Dominates
One week after allowing 63 points in a loss to North Carolina, the Appalachian State defense was downright dominant against Texas A&M. The Mountaineers held Texas A&M to just 186 yards and nine total first downs. The Aggies were just 2-for-8 on third down and held the ball for less than 20 minutes.
Jalen McLeod led the way with two sacks for Appalachian State. Nick Ross tallied a team-high seven tackles and one for loss. As a team, Appalachian State recorded six tackles for loss and forced a pair of turnovers.
Appalachian State never trailed in the contest. Camerun Peoples powered the offensive attack with 112 yards on 19 carries.
Texas A&M drew even twice, but Michael Hughes’s 29-yard field goal midway through the final period capped an 18-play, 63-yard drive that took more than nine minutes off the clock and put Appalachian State ahead for good. Texas A&M’s Caden Davis missed a game-tying 47-yard attempt with less than four minutes to go. App State was able to run out the clock.
What a Win
The win for Appalachian State was its first over a ranked team since knocking off No. 14 Coastal Carolina last season. The Aggies are just the second Power 5 team defeated by Appalachian State since becoming an FBS program in 2015 and the highest ranked.
There were many highly contested games along the way against Power 5 competition for Appalachian State, including overtime losses to top-10 Tennessee and Penn State teams. The previous win over a Power 5 team was a 34-31 win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 2019.
Appalachian State joined Clemson as the only teams to beat Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher in College Station in the non-conference. Dating back to his time at Florida State, this is Fisher’s first regular season loss to a Group of 5 program.
After splitting a pair of contests against Power 5 teams, Appalachian State begins Sun Belt play this week. The Mountaineers will open conference play at home against Troy. The contest begins at 3:30 p.m. ET and streams on ESPN+.
With the loss, Texas A&M fell to sixth to No. 24 in the polls. The Aggies will have no time to lick their wounds. They’ll host No. 13 Miami this week. That contest begins at 9 p.m. ET and airs on ESPN.
Featured image courtesy of Appalachian State athletics
Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.