Air Force cadets, showing a rare lack of military discipline, tore down the goalposts on Saturday for the first time since a victory over Notre Dame in 1982, and Falcon Coach Fisher DeBerry gave the marauders his blessing.
Sophomore Beau Morgan, making his first start, completed two touchdown passes to halfback Jake Campbell, and Morgan and Campbell each ran for another score, as Air Force stunned No. 12 Utah, 40-33, at Air Force Academy, Colo.
"If any spectator didn't get his money's worth this afternoon, then he's brain dead," DeBerry said. "That was an unbelievable game, one that went back and forth. I've been here 15 years, and I think this is as fine a win as we have ever had.
"Our team just beat the 12th-ranked football team in America. Maybe that will open some eyes now to the reality of this team."
The Falcons, 7-3 overall and 5-2 in the Western Athletic Conference after an 0-3 start, got two key field goals from Randy Roberts, both into a stiff wind, including a 42-yarder with 12:39 to play for a 34-31 lead.
After stopping Utah on fourth down, Air Force tacked on another score as fullback Jake Maloy sprinted 41 yards with 1:20 to play. The extra-point kick was blocked, however, and Utah's Kareem Leary ran the other direction for two points.
The loss was the second in a row for Utah (8-2, 5-2) and severely damaged the Utes' hopes for their first WAC title and ended Holiday Bowl berth hopes.
"It's not the whole season," Ute Coach Ron McBride insisted. "We're still playing to win the WAC."
Utah's task is much more difficult, however. By beating Air Force, Utah could have determined its own fate with a victory over Brigham Young (9-2, 6-1) this week. Now, Colorado State (9-1, 6-1) has the inside track. If the Rams beat Fresno State this week, they'll earn the Holiday Bowl berth regardless of the BYU-Utah outcome.
Air Force could conceivably tie for the WAC title, but the Falcons have no chance for the Holiday Bowl because of tiebreakers.
Utah's Mike McCoy passed for three touchdowns and the Utes led at one point, 17-0.
No. 10 Colorado State 48, Arkansas State 3--Anthoney Hill passed for three touchdowns and reserve running back Renard Carn ran for 113 yards and a touchdown at Ft. Collins, Colo.
Hill, who played a little more than two quarters before giving way to freshman Moses Moreno, passed for touchdowns of four, 10 and 18 yards as the Rams (9-1) romped over the Indians (1-9).
Fresno State 30, Texas El Paso 30--Armen Torigian missed an extra-point kick after Reggie Brown's one-foot touchdown dive with 36 seconds to play and the Bulldogs had to settle for a WAC tie at El Paso.
Fresno State (4-6-1, 2-3-1) was outplayed most of the second half by the Miners (3-6-1, 1-5-1).
Wyoming 38, New Mexico 28--John Gustin passed for 427 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Harris late in the fourth quarter, to lead the Cowboys (5-6, 3-4) over the Lobos (4-7, 3-4) at Laramie, Wyo.