Here's a good combination, if you can do it, and UTEP did Saturday: Score all the time and have some defensive stops.
That will beat everybody.
Plus, UTEP sophomore quarterback Trevor Vittatoe played like a pro-to-be, and the defense came close to what it was pencilied in to do at the start of the season. UTEP won at Louisiana Lafayette 37-24, to go 4-5.
UTEP scored six straight times, five of them touchdowns, on possessions between early in the first quarter and late in the fourth quarter. That's not scoring every time, but it's close enough.
Vittatoe passed like a good NFL quarterback. Pinpoint strikes. Between defenders. Over defenders' reach. Good touch, too. And 294 yards.
Coach Mike Price has said Vittatoe has the best arm of any quarterback he's coached. That includes Drew Bledsoe, and Price has been around almost 40 years. Vittatoe looked like that in Louisiana Saturday with five touchdown passes. Pretty soon Price is going to start calling Vittatoe the smartest quarterback he's ever coached. Vittatoe is workmanlike, cool - plus his arm is electric.
Perhaps the turning point was UTEP's defense holding Lafayette to one field goal despite two red-zone entries in the first half. It helped UTEP to a 16-10 halftime lead.
Then the Miners went offensively near-perfect, and in the second half UTEP picked off three three passes to clinch the win.
This was a good win for UTEP, which was spiraling down after having a 3-3 record and then losing two in a row, despite scoring a lot of points.
It was a non-conference win, but it gives the Miners hope of improving on two straight 4-8 seasons and going into next year, which all along has been projected as the next Mike Price breakout year.
The good news is that this year is not dead yet, and Vittatoe is really something else.