Terry Maki blocked a field goal attempt and A.J. Scott picked it up and ran 77 yards for a touchdown that gave 15th-ranked Air Force the victory. The largest crowd ever at the academy near Colorado Springs, 52,153, saw the Falcons (5-0) beat the Irish (1-3) the fourth straight time.
"We knew we were going to get one," Maki said of the blocked kick. "We had watched their films and we knew they had some flaws. They weren't protecting well on that side of the line. We went past their tight end and I just stuck my hand straight out. I really didn't have to jump or anything."
"It's just luck, really," Scott said, "that the ball came down to me. I just saw it, grabbed it and took off. I didn't look around, I just took off and didn't feel anyone near me."
"I don't know if there's ever been a block like that in our history," Coach Fisher DeBerry of the Air Force said. "To tell you the truth, at first I didn't even see who blocked it. This team finds a way to win."
Maki, a junior, made 30 tackles, 19 of them unassisted. "Notre Dame's offensive line looked like giants," he said, "but they also had problems. They were slower and they didn't come out low enough."
Notre Dame Coach Gerry Faust, who congratulated the Falcons players in their locker room, said he hoped they "go all the way."
"You can't lose one any tougher than that," he told reporters.