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Kevin Schnepf, Published August 03 2013

Schnepf: Forgetting about Appalachian State's feat was my bad

Fargo - It was only two days ago when I wrote about this year’s North Dakota State’s football team facing the possibility of winning a third straight national championship. A three-peat.

But more erroneous than a

last-minute interception or a fumble into the end zone, I stated that NDSU would become the first FCS team to win three straight national titles.

Wrong.

They would become the second. I was well aware that Appalachian State pulled off the three-peat from 2005 to 2007. No excuses here. I just forgot to mention that Appalachian State, perhaps one of the most storied programs in FCS history, pulled off the amazing and difficult feat of a three-peat in 2007.

That was indeed a season to remember for the team from Boone, N.C.

That was the season in which Appalachian State traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich., and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

In front of 109,218 fans, Appalachian State pulled off a

34-32 shocker over No. 5-ranked Michigan. It would be the first win by an FCS team over a ranked FBS team.

Wide receiver Dexter Myles Jackson, who later became a second-round draft pick by Tampa Bay, caught two touchdown passes. That performance put him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Armanti Edwards, the Mountaineers’ quarterback from 2006 to 2009, threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns against Michigan. He would become the first NCAA quarterback to throw for 9,000 yards and rush for 4,000.

He ended up being an NFL wide receiver for three years with Carolina.

Running back Kevin Richardson, who experienced all three national titles, rushed for 88 yards against Michigan.

Then there was safety Corey Lynch, who blocked a field goal in the waning seconds to preserve the win at Michigan. Lynch, who played in 16 games last year for the San Diego Chargers, produced his first NFL interception against Brett Favre.

Like Richardson, Lynch tasted his third straight national championship when the Mountaineers defeated Delaware 49-21 in front of 23,010 fans in Chattanooga, Tenn. That was the same Delaware team led by quarterback Joe Flacco – who was last year’s Super Bowl MVP for the Baltimore Ravens.

There was a lot of talent on those Appalachian State teams – talent that was needed against talent like Flacco.

Did the Mountaineers come close to pulling off a four-peat?

Well, they had a 6-5 season in 2004 before its amazing run began. And in 2008, they had an 11-3 record, falling to Richmond 33-13 in the second round of the playoffs.

With 20 of 22 starters back from last year’s Bison team that won a second straight national title, NDSU is loaded with talent – much like Appalachian State was in 2007.

While the Mountaineers had Lynch in the secondary, NDSU will have All-American Marcus Williams at cornerback. Just as Edwards was a four-year starting quarterback, so too will be Brock Jensen.

And just as Appalachian State had the chance to show its stuff against a major power like Michigan, so too will NDSU when it opens the season Aug. 30 at Kansas State – which made a BCS bowl game last year and has a preseason ranking of 26.

And if the Bison happen to stumble during the regular season, don’t throw away those three-peat dreams. App State lost its fourth game of the season in 2007 at Wofford (42-31) and lost its seventh game of the season at home against Georgia Southern (38-35).

It goes without saying that teams like Appalachian State made championship runs without making major mistakes. At least not like the one I made in forgetting about them in my last column.

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549 or at kschnepf@forumcomm.com