Blue White Illustrated

Appalachian State Pregame

Penn State Sports Magazine

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four- and five-star prospects, is always the same: This is what can happen if you don't take these guys seriously. It's a message worth imparting no matter which seemingly overmatched Group of Five opponent happens to be playing the role of App State, and it's especially rele- vant if that seemingly overmatched Group of Five opponent happens to be App State itself. Because their memorable afternoon in Ann Arbor isn't the only one in which the Mountaineers have thrown a scare into a major power. They've done this to other people, too. In September 2016, App State built a 10- point lead against ninth-ranked Tennessee and held it for most of the second half be- fore the host Volunteers prevailed in over- time by recovering their own fumble in the end zone. A year ago, they faced 15th- ranked Georgia in Athens. While they never threatened to upset the future Col- lege Football Playoff finalists, they did keep the Bulldogs from running away and hid- ing, holding them to 24 points through the first two-and-a-half quarters in what would become a 31-10 Georgia victory. And now comes a trip to Penn State. The Mountaineers and Nittany Lions have never met, but App State's reputation pre- cedes it as it prepares for its first visit to Beaver Stadium. "This is a team that has played really well on the road," Penn State coach James Franklin said. "I know that [the Michigan game] was a long time ago and a previous staff, but even here recently they've done a good job. They're very athletic. … They're a little bit undersized, but they're a twitchy defense. They've got some really good transfers in as well, so it should be a really good challenge for us. Obviously, they were A U G U S T 2 9 , 2 0 1 8 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M 2 Franklin said he has tried to ensure that his players "respect every opponent they play." Appalachian State nearly upset ninth-ranked Ten- nessee in 2016, tak- ing the Volunteers to overtime in Knoxville. Photo by Steve Manuel

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