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What is Alex Smith’s favorite football memory?

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The Utah Utes football team celebrates its victory in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona, Jan 1, 2005.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

In the wake of what can be rightfully considered a miraculous return to the gridiron, Washington quarterback — not to mention noted Utah football alumnus — Alex Smith was asked what his favorite football memory is.

The former No. 1 pick in the 2005 NFL draft certainly has many memories to choose from, with his 14-year professional career spent with the San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Football Team, the three years he spent at the University of Utah and his time at Helix High in La Mesa, California, prior to that.

In the end, rather than select just one moment, Smith settled on a memory from each stage of his playing career: high school, college and the NFL (he cheated a bit on the last one).

And what was his favorite memory at the U.?

That would be playing the role of BCS buster and winning the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.

Smith was fantastic in the game, completing 29 of 37 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. For his efforts he was named Fiesta Bowl MVP, just another accolade in that historic season, where Smith was the MWC Offensive Player of the Year, the TSN Player of the Year, a Walter Camp finalist, a Davey O’Brien finalist and finished fourth in voting for the Heisman.


Alex Smith raises his helmet in the air after Utah won the Fiesta Bowl by beating Pitt 35-7 on Jan. 1, 2005, in Tempe, Arizona.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

When it came to his memory, though, it was all about the Utes as a whole.

“For us to kind of break down the BCS and go to the Fiesta Bowl, and be the first school to do that that wasn’t in a major conference was something that was real special,” Smith said. “It was a bunch of guys who were really invested in a dream and we were able to make it happen.”