Travel woes force Appalachian State to stay overnight in College Station after upset win over Texas A&M

After causing a historic upset at No. 6 Texas A&M on Saturday, the Appalachian State football team couldn’t celebrate at home in Boone, North Carolina.

Mechanical issues with the team charter forced the Appalachian State team to spend the night at the hotel where they had slept the night before in College Station, a team spokesperson said. at ESPN. With the hotel fully booked, the team dispersed through various hallways, conference rooms and the lobby.

The team spent around three hours on Saturday evening at the airport before returning to the hotel around midnight. They had an unofficial wake-up call at 3:30 a.m. before heading back to the airport, where they boarded a 4:30 a.m. flight.

The team flew to Charlotte on Sunday morning. They landed around 8:30 a.m., and the team’s five buses were due to get to Boone, which is about two hours away, around 11 a.m.

Although the delay was painful, it would be difficult to dampen the spirit of the team and the staff. They pulled off what will be remembered as the second-biggest upset in school history, stunning a Texas A&M program that had stockpiled talented recruits and had coaches and administrators engaged in a verbal contest with the Alabama coach Nick Saban this offseason. Instead, the Aggies became the second top-10 team to lose to a Sun Belt program on Saturday, as Marshall toppled No. 8 Notre Dame.

While trying to wait out the mechanical issues on Saturday night, coach Shawn Clark was told the program would be hosting ESPN’s College GameDay for the first time on Saturday. Clark is a 1998 Appalachian State grad who took over in 2020 and has been on the staff for seven seasons.

Appalachian State entered the game after a heartbreaking loss to North Carolina, which saw the Mountaineers score 40 points in the fourth quarter and lose another 63-61.

On Saturday, the Mountaineers played from distance, holding the ball for 41 minutes and 29 seconds. The game plan of coordinator Kevin Barbary and the execution without reversal of quarterback Chase Brice and tailback Cameroon Peoples (112 yards on 19 carries) allowed Appalachian State to melt the clock. This included 11-game and 18-game second-half drives that drained more than 15 minutes behind.

Appalachia State burst into the national sports consciousness when it upset Michigan’s No. 5 in 2007 when the school was still an FCS program. The victory over Texas A&M marked the third victory over a ranked opponent in school history.

Appalachia State has a storied history, as the school won three FCS titles before transitioning to FBS play less than a decade ago. Former head coaches include Jerry Moore, who won all three titles, and Mack Brown (UNC), Eliah Drinkwitz (Missouri) and Scott Satterfield (Louisville).

Texas A&M paid $1.5 million to play Appalachian State.

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