It's Catching: Arey, Rowe Fuel San Diego State, 58-31

TIMES STAFF WRITER

They have been bright spots throughout a mostly frustrating season. Patrick Rowe and Dennis Arey, catching nearly everything in sight.

Saturday, during San Diego State's 58-31 Western Athletic Conference victory over Texas El Paso, the NCAA record book caught them.

Arey caught eight passes for 105 yards, giving him 1,017 for the season. Rowe has 1,290. The Aztecs thus became only the second team in NCAA history to have two receivers with 1,000 or more reception yards. The first was Houston, with James Dixon and Jason Phillips in 1988.

Rowe caught seven passes for 161 yards, enabling him to tie the NCAA record and break the school record with eight consecutive games of 100 or more yards receiving. Rowe joined Tulsa's Howard Twilley (1965) and Fresno State's Henry Ellard (1982) in the NCAA record book.

Rowe kept what was left of the crowd in suspense--he didn't cross the 100-yard mark until 1:41 remained in the game, and he needed a 68-yard touchdown pass from Cree Morris, who had replaced Dan McGwire, to do it. That gave the Aztecs a 58-23 lead.

At the end of his run, the entire Aztec bench raced into the end zone and joined the celebration.

There was a skirmish after the game. The Aztecs said UTEP, 3-8 overall and 1-7 in the WAC, thought San Diego State (6-4, 5-2) was trying to run the score up.

"I don't know how it's going to be looked at," Rowe said. "But I had no intention of running up the score. I'd like to apologize to the UTEP Miners. We were just trying to get the record."

McGwire completed 26 of 38 passes for 344 yards.

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