A 1971 Mixed Bag — Five Wins & Cold Beer (August 2020)

The hoarding habits of former UTEP linebacker Scott DeSha of San Antonio bring you this one from deep, deep in the mine shaft: In 1971, UTEP opened with two schools that no longer play football, then dived into what today would be comparable to a Pac-12 schedule. 
 
Pacific dropped football in 1995, but not before a guy named Pete Carroll played defensive back. A long-time college and NFL head coach, Carroll is now guiding the Seattle Seahawks. UTA dropped football in ’85. Beer and cigarette ads in college game programs disappeared about the same time as bell-bottom britches.
 
Those pesky Miners, under the late Coach Bobby Dobbs, had a competitive defense, including two pros-to-be tackle Don Croft (Bills, Lions) and cornerback Eric Washington (Cardinals). At nationally ranked Arizona State, UTEP trailed only 10-7 going into the fourth quarter, but gave up a long punt return late and wound up losing, 24-7. Lacking firepower on offense (then as now), UTEP finished 5-6.
 
The ’71 campaign brought a hidden blessing: A forgettable senior lineman wearing No. 62 graduated from the playing field to the press box. Which freed up a UTEP scholarship to recruit a more-gifted player.

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