The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

August 30, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Believe it or not, Liberty can pull upset

MORGANTOWN — It can happen.

Hard as it is to believe, Liberty could come into Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday and beat the West Virginia University Mountaineers.

No one knows that better than Lonnie Galloway, who coaches the wide receivers on coach Bill Stewart’s WVU staff.

See, he was part of the biggest upset in college football history.

We know, around these parts that title belongs to Pitt’s stunning upset of West Virginia in 2007 when they knocked off a team ready to play in the national championship game as a four-touchdown underdog.

And there are those who would vote for Stanford’s stunner of USC a couple of years back, a bad team bringing down a team many felt would win the national title.

But, ladies and gentlemen, this was Appalachian State and mighty Michigan in the Big House.

It’s highly likely that not half of the 101,000 people who gathered that day in Ann Arbor knew where Appalachian State was, let alone understood that they had any chance at all to beat No. 5 Wolverines.

It happened.

And Lonnie Galloway can tell you how.

“When we went into the Appalachian game we were coming off two national championships and were picked to be No. 1 again,” Galloway recalled.

This was not just another Division I-AA team, much as Liberty is not just another Division I-AA team. The Flames were 10-2 last year, knocked off a pair of nationally ranked I-AA opponents and are coached by a rising star in the coaching business, Danny Rocco, who comes from the Pittsburgh area, which might just give him a little more incentive.

The one thing Division I-A teams dare not do when facing schools from a lower classification is think that they do not possess the talent to pull off an upset. Take that Appy State team that beat Michigan.

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Bob Herzel
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