App State, Charlotte agree to football series
by Staff Reports
One of the concerns about Appalachian State leaving the Southern Conference to join the Sun Belt Conference was establishing rivalries, especially based on geography.
The Appalachian State athletic department may have taken a step toward fixing that program. Appalachian State and Charlotte agreed to play home-and-home football games beginning in 2018.
The Mountaineers will play at Charlotte's Jerry Richardson Stadium on Sept. 8, 2018. Charlotte returns the favor by playing at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Sept. 7, 2019.
"Since Charlotte announced it was beginning a football program several years ago, it has been a priority to try to arrange a series that would be great for our student-athletes and fans," Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb said. "Many thanks go to (Charlotte athletic director) Judy Rose and (Charlotte) coach (Brad) Lambert for their efforts in helping the series come to fruition. We hope that it is a series that will extend well past this initial two-year arrangement and become a showcase for FBS football in western North Carolina and beyond."
Charlotte played its inaugural football season in 2013 as a Football Championship Subdivision program. The 49ers finished the season with a 5-6 record, including a 45-21 victory over then No. 24 Gardner-Webb.
Charlotte plays in Conference USA in 2015.
"We are thrilled to make this announcement," Rose said. "Adding a series against an in-state opponent that has the tradition and history of Appalachian State is important to the continued growth of our program. We can't thank Charlie Cobb and coach (Scott) Satterfield enough. We know our fans have been looking forward to this possibility and it's a natural step as both programs transition into FBS play."
Appalachian State, which finished 4-8 in its final season in the Southern Conference, has lined up home-and-home non-conference games with three other opponents. Appalachian State plays at Southern Mississippi Sept. 20 in 2014, and will host the Golden Eagles on Sept. 19, 2015.
The Mountaineers also have a home-and-home series at Old Dominion in 2015, while the Monarchs play at Kidd Brewer Stadium in 2016. App State visits Akron in 2016 and hosts the Zips in 2017.
Appalachian State also hosts Georgia State, Idaho, South Alabama at Louisiana-Monroe from the Sun Belt in 2014. The Mountaineers play at Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Troy and Louisiana-Lafayette.
They will not play either New Mexico State or Texas State.
Appalachian State opens its 2014 season at Michigan, but will not host the Wolverines. App State also hosts Campbell on Sept. 6 and Liberty on Oct. 11 in 2014.
"It's exciting to set up a series with Charlotte," Mountaineers coach Scott Satterfield said. "The proximity of our campuses, the similarity of our schools and the familiarity that our student athletes have with each other from the high-school level make it a natural rivalry. It will be a great series for both school's fans and for college football in North Carolina."
The two schools have played basketball against each other for a long time. Charlotte claimed a 77-59 victory over the Mountaineers at the Holmes Center on Dec. 8.