Whenever something in college football seems too good to be true, it probably is. On Saturday, the University of Texas-El Paso, those hapless Miners who have finished last in the Western Athletic Conference 13 of the last 16 years, swaggered into the Air Force Academy's Falcon Stadium with an unbelievable 3-0 conference record and an even more unbelievable 5-1 mark overall. At which time reality intruded, and UTEP was roundly thumped by the unimpressed Falcons, 35-7.
What brought the Miners back to earth was a near-flawless performance by Air Force, which wasn't expected to be 6-2, as it was after Saturday's triumph, mostly because it had lost nine of last year's 11 defensive starters. But the Falcons didn't lose defensive tackle Chad Hennings, who sacked UTEP quarterback Pat Hegarty three times, had another tackle for a loss and caused UTEP to draw four holding penalties.
Until its comeuppance against the Falcons, UTEP was ranked seventh in the nation in scoring with 33.5 points per game. Afterward, Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said, "We gave up a lot of yards  but our first team didn't let them in the end zone, and that's the only statistic that makes any sense."
The Falcon offense, meanwhile, was gaining yards the only way it knows how—on the ground. Behind wishbone quarterback Dee Dowis, Air Force rushed for 449 yards and 21 first downs. Dowis, a sophomore who had completed only 31 passes coming into the game, added only one more against UTEP, but it was a big one—17 yards to tight end Frank Martini for a touchdown. He also carried 17 times for 111 yards.
In the gloom of defeat, UTEP coach Bob Stull said, "I told our team before the game that we had to do two things to win. We had to control Chad Hennings and Dee Dowis. We did neither one."
—DOUGLAS S. LOONEY
South Carolina quarterback Todd Ellis. Ellis, a sophomore, threw for a school-record 425 yards in a 34-12 win over East Carolina. He's already the Gamecocks' career leader in passing yardage (5,201) and completions (363).
Pitt tailback Craig Heyward. Heyward rushed for 140 yards and scored Pitt's only touchdown in a 10-6 victory over Navy. It was the seventh 100-yard game of the season for Hey ward.
Idaho State kick returner Frank Selto. Selto, a senior, took a kickoff at his own four-yard line with 1:48 remaining and ran it back for a touchdown as the Bengals stunned Boise State 35-32.