PLAY OF THE GAME: Ryan O'Hara found Lance Relford deep on a 79-yard scoring strike. Relford had just enough separation from safety Tim Woodard to make the catch, then with a stiff arm he separated from the defender and sprinted the final 20 yards.
SECOND CHANCE: Mike Bell lost a fumble at the one-yard line but an offsides call nullified the turnover and Costa scored on the next play.
PERFECTLY DRAWN UP: Not only did Costa stroll into the endzone on his one-yard run, but he had two wide-open pass targets to throw to. Both fullback Gilbert Harris and tight end Clarence McRae escorted Costa into the endzone, but could have scored just as easily.
HIT OF THE GAME: With the halo rule a thing of the past, punt returners were open game. Gary Love caused a fumble with his hit, but it was Andre Torrey who stole the show. Jahmal Farmer avoided Love, but after sidestepping the first tackler he was hit head on by the streaking linebacker who lifted him off the ground before driving him into the turf.
KEEP OFF THE GRASS: UTEP is 1-12 on grass under coach Gary Nord.
CONFERENCE OF CHAMPIONS: The Miners have lost 18 straight games to Pac-10 opponents.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Cats have won their third straight home opener. They lost to Ohio State in 2000. They haven't lost a season opener since the Penn State debacle in 1999.
AVOID THE WILDCATS: UTEP has lost 12 straight to the Wildcats and have not won in Tucson since 1957.
TRUE FRESHMEN: Unofficially, seven true freshmen saw action in the game. Syndric Steptoe, Chris Henry, Cliff Stanford, Bobby Kaspar, Marcus Hollingsworth, Shawn Pack and Lionel Dotson all saw varying amounts of playing time.
PROTECTION: Wildcat passers were not sacked all night. In fact both Costa and O'Hara had positive rushing totals.
PENALTY FREE (ALMOST): The Wildcats were flagged just twice for 20 yards.
DOH! CB Luis Nunez dropped a sure interception that had a great chance of going all the way for a score.
NEXT UP: Next weeks' foe LSU beat Louisiana-Monroe 49-7.
|Johnnie Lee Higgins Jr.||4||43||0|
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