NCAA Football: Troy at Appalachian State
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Mountaineers stun the Trojans on the final play

Saturday in Boone began with the ESPN College Gameday crew in town prior to Appalachian State hosting Troy University.

It ended with the Mountaineers stunning the Trojans on the game’s final play to pull out a 32-28 win.

Last week, Appalachian State shocked the college football world with a 17-14 win on the road over Texas A&M, then the sixth-ranked team in the nation. That led ESPN to send their pregame show to Boone, North Carolina, home of the Mountaineers.

The game was a back-and-forth affair, with the visitors taking a 28-24 lead with just over ten minutes remaining on a short touchdown run. Appalachian State drove nearly the length of the field on their ensuing possession, but faced a 4th and goal at the Troy 2-yard line.

Quarterback Chase Brice’s pass fell incomplete, allowing Troy to take over deep in their own territory, with just over a minute remaining.

Moments later, Troy elected to take an intentional safety, rather than risk a punt from deep in their own territory:

That cut Troy’s lead to 28-26, and the Trojans were forced to kick off to the Mountaineers, giving Brice and Appalachian State one final chance.

They somehow, some way, pulled it out:

Brice’s prayer is answered, as Christian Horn settles underneath the tipped ball around the Troy six-yard line, and scampers into the end zone for the touchdown as time expires.

The decision by Troy to take the intentional safety — and then squip the ensuing kickoff allowing Appalachian State to take over near midfield — will be debated for days to come. But on this day, with College Gameday in town, it seemed like magic was in the air for the Mountaineers.

And coming after a huge upset of Texas A&M a week ago? Perhaps a magical season is in store down in Boone.