|Appalachian State Loses to Wofford 42-31|
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - The Michigan win is history.
That was clear Saturday to anyone watching the Appalachian State Mountaineers walk slowly and dejectedly out of Gibbs Stadium after their first defeat in more than a year.
Appalachian State, three weeks removed from winning at Michigan, had its 17-game winning streak snapped in a 42-31 loss to Southern Conference rival Wofford.
``We've celebrated long enough,'' Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore said. ``It's time to gird it up and see what we've got.''
Jeremy Marshall scored on a reverse and a halfback pass for the Terriers (3-1), who took it to the Mountaineers from the start the conference opener.
Wofford got three turnovers and held Appalachian State's powerful running game to 98 yards through the first three quarters.
Appalachian State had one last chance to extend its streak, but CoCo Hillary was stopped well short of a first down with 57.9 seconds as Wofford's players leaped wildly on the way back to the sideline.
Appalachian State opened the season with arguably the biggest upset in college football history with its 34-32 win at Michigan. The Wolverines, No. 5 in the nation at the time, became the first ranked major college team to lose to a team from Division I's second-tier.
That victory sparked a wild celebration by the Mountaineers at the Big House and by their fans back home in Boone, N.C.
This time, the Mountaineers could only watch the Terriers' party.
``It's just a great day for our program,'' Wofford coach Mike Ayers said.
When it was over, Moore told his players to keep their heads up and focus on the long season left.
The Mountaineers (3-1) were consensus No. 1 in the FCS polls and had even gotten a few votes in the AP's Top 25 - a rule change made for ex-Division I-AA teams after the Michigan win.
Appalachian State hadn't lost since last year's opener against North Carolina State. It hadn't dropped its first Southern Conference game since 2003.
Maybe the voters should take a look at Wofford, who rallied back in the second half.
``They knew Wofford was going to give us their best game, probably the best game they ever played,'' Appalachian State receiver Hillary said.
Appalachian State went ahead 17-14 - its only lead of the game - on Julian Rauch's 40-yard field goal.
The Mountaineers forced Wofford to punt on the next series. But Dexter Jackson, one of heroes from the Michigan game, saw the ball bounce off his hands as he tried to make a fair catch in the sun and Wofford's Justice Joslin recovered.
Four plays later, halfback Dane Romero ran 3 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
Linebacker Kevin Adelman intercepted Elder to give Wofford the ball back. This time, Romero flipped the ball to Marshall on a reverse to give the Terriers a 28-17 lead.
Elder was playing for Armanti Edwards, who aggravated a shoulder injury and miss most of the second half.
Moore said Edwards would need two or three days of rest and be ready for next week's game at Elon.
When the Mountaineers tightened things up with the first of Kevin Richardson's two touchdowns, Romero and Marshall got Wofford back in control moments later.
Quarterback Josh Collier pitched to Romero, who found a wide open Marshall at the back of the end zone for a TD.
``If you want to be a championship team, you've got to beat championship caliber football teams,'' Wofford's Ayers said. ``We had the best in the country roll in here.''
Wofford had lost to North Carolina State 38-17 a week ago and vowed it wouldn't be intimidated by the SoCon's giant killers.
Wofford's defense didn't give up a first down until the second quarter and permitted only 9 yards rushing the first 15 minutes.
And when Collier hit Andy Strickland for a 49-yard, first-quarter TD pass, the Terriers were ahead 7-0.
Appalachian State and Edwards found their rhythm in the second quarter.
Edwards tied things with a twisting, 10-yard touchdown run with 7:28 left before the half.
After the Terriers went ahead on Ben Widmyer's 7-yard scoring run, Appalachian State took a few seconds to answer with Hillary's 95-yard kickoff return TD.
Moore said he and his staff haven't mentioned Michigan to the players since the historic Sept. 1 victory. You can bet, he said, his team will hear a lot about Wofford in the next week.
``We've had a sparkling 12 to 15 months where it's been smooth sailing,'' Moore said. But now ``we've just got to get our business in order,'' he said.