Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Footnote, Literally, to History in His College Days, New Kicker Rauch Capped Major Upset

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Footnote, Literally, to History in His College Days, New Kicker Rauch Capped Major Upset

Article excerpt

Standing on the sideline with only a handful of minutes remaining, Julian Rauch began to grasp the enormity of what he was witnessing.

The then-Appalachian State and current Power kicker watched intently as his team, trailing No. 5 Michigan by one point, marched up the field with a chance to do the unthinkable -- win the game.

As a kicker, Rauch was someone rarely called upon, but when he was, it carried some sort of importance. Staring down a 24-yard field goal attempt with 30 seconds left, the moment would never get more important and before a tense crowd of more than 100,000 in Michigan Stadium.

With countless others watching intently from afar, Rauch kicked the ball through the uprights on Sept. 1, 2007, and thrust himself into college football lore. Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32.

Rauch's field goal was the deciding score in one of the most stunning upsets in college football history, as the relatively unknown Division I-AA school from western North Carolina toppled one of the game's signature programs.

On a Power team where many of the players come from unheralded or obscure backgrounds, Rauch's story is unique. The play lasted four seconds, but it is a moment that has endured.

"Every day goes on, and still, it becomes that much bigger of a deal," Rauch said.

Despite winning three Division I-AA national championships in Rauch's college career from 2004-07, Appalachian State was viewed by many as early season fodder for a Michigan team expected to contend for the BCS championship.

"During the field goal, after the field goal, it's just another field goal at that point," Rauch said. "When we ran on to the field after the game and it's quiet, that's when you realize."

That kick six years ago didn't inspire the Power to sign Rauch, but the team turned to him when it needed help at kicker.

With Josh Czajkowski struggling, the team signed the 27-year-old Rauch to a contract in early May and he has alleviated some of the Power's special teams woes. …

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