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Utah's Top Stories #3, Utes Perfect Season

Utah's Top Stories #3, Utes Perfect Season

Posted - Dec. 30, 2004 at 5:01 p.m.



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Our number three story, in our list of Utah’s top ten is the University of Utah's amazing football season that will finish off with the Fiesta Bowl this weekend.

Utah's magical season culminates Saturday night in Tempe, trying to complete the perfect season with a 12th win against a Big East co-champion in the Fiesta Bowl. We all know this unreal ride is the result of months of off-season work and preparation all coming together just right.

It started with a dominating win on national TV over Texas A&M. Quarterback Alex Smith's record-setting season started with a career high 359 passing yards, three td passes, and number 11 in red added two more rushing. The run-pass scoring trend would continue all season

There was an early scare in the fourth game of the season when Air Force jumped up 14-0 at Rice Eccles Stadium and went on to score 35, the most Utah allowed all season. But thanks to Marty Johnson's record-tying four rushing TDs, the Utes had plenty of points to win it 49-35.

From then on nobody came closer than 21 pts; actually most of Utah's games were over by halftime, the Utes averaging a 30-10 halftime lead for the season.

On his way to a fourth place finish in the Hiesman trophy voting Alex Smith showed his grit, taking a beating but throwing a career-high 5 TD passes in his old stomping grounds as Utah crushed San Diego State

It’s fitting that the men in red had to beat arch rival BYU to complete the perfect regular season. No problem, outscoring the Cougars 31-7 in the second half wrapped up Utah's first ever 11-0 season, and an unprecedented journey, the first by a non-BCS team into a BCS bowl

The electricity continued post-season with earthquakes on the local coaching landscape. Urban Meyer flirted with Notre Dame but goes to Florida for $14 million over seven years. And Utah's players get what they want, defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham chooses Utah over BYU. He's the head coach effective after the Fiesta Bowl.

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