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History 101: Wake Forest & App State

A series is resurrected

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After beating Utah State to go to 3-0, Wake hits the short road west to face App State.

Appalachian State Mountaineers: Win-Loss Records

All-Time: 576–326–28 (.634)

Past Decade: 93-38 (.710)

Last Season: 10-3 (31-28 W over Toledo in the Camellia Bowl)

This Season: 2-1 (10-31 L to Georgia, 54-7 W over FCS Savannah St, 20-13 W over Texas St)

Series History

App State is located in Boone, a 1.5 hour drive west from Wake’s campus. These two programs met in Winston-Salem every year from 1979 through 1996. The teams played three more times in the next five years, but have not matched up since 2001.

Wake leads the series 14-7-1. The most points either team has ever scored in the series is 34 - with both teams hitting that mark in 1988 for the series’ only tie. Of the 22 games, only 6 have been decided by more than one score, with the greatest margin coming in 1993 when Wake won 20-3.

Trends and Significance

App State’s football team has enjoyed a ton of success, three-peating as FCS national champs from 2005-2007. That success has continued through their transition from FCS to FBS in 2013-2014. They’ve had winning records each of their first three seasons in FBS, including double-digit wins each of the past two years.

What App State hasn’t done is pull off is a win over a Power 5 opponent since their legendary upset of Michigan in the opening game of the ‘07-’08 season. They’ve played LSU, Florida, VT, Georgia, Michigan, Clemson, and Tennessee in the years since but have been beaten each time. Last year, they took No. 9 Tennessee to overtime but fell 20-13. This year, they started out against Georgia and fell behind 31-0 before scoring 10 points in the last 6 minutes of the game (both scores on short drives off of interceptions thrown by Georgia’s backup QB).

It’s clear from reading forums, social media, and PR from App State that they are very hyped up for another shot at a P5 win. To be honest, this is probably their best shot of the bunch they’ve had. There is palpable excitement for this game, and they’re going to come out with high energy and motivation.

For Wake, that means this will be the first true “hostile” road game of the season (no offense to #therivalry). We can expect all 24000+ seats at Kidd Brewer Stadium to be filled with loud, excited fans (including what should be a solid, but outnumbered, Wake contingent). John Wolford has looked very composed this year, and it will be a test for him to see if he can thrive in that environment. On paper, we have the more talented team, but App State has always been well-coached and stocked with athletic ball players. Combined with the environment, it will be crucial for the Deacs to come out and not be out-energized to start off the game.

This is a “should win” in my book (not a “will win”) - and a win would be huge for the rest of the season. Starting off 4-0 would give the Deacs plenty of breathing room going into a tough, tough stretch of play starting next week against FSU.

I hope Wake doesn’t get caught looking ahead. The fact that we are only favored by a FG or so hopefully helps the team realize this isn’t a game to be taken for granted. Let’s close out the non-conference schedule with a win! Go Deacs!