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The top 5 Utah football seasons of all-time: No. 2

Published July 24, 2014 10:27 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The 2004 Utes were absolutely dominant from start to finish, steamrolling opponents on the way to an undefeated record and a Fiesta Bowl berth. From there, the team kept on rolling, beating Pitt 35-7 in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and acting as the inaugural "BCS busters." Here's a look at the second best Utah football season of all-time:

Biggest moment: The hook-and-ladder play of the third quarter in the Fiesta Bowl, when Alex Smith tossed the ball to Steve Savoy, who flipped it to Paris Warren to cap off a 94-yard drive for a touchdown. The play put the Utes up 35-7 and ended Pitt's chances of coming back.

Lowest point: There isn't a low point for this season. Thanks to Alex Smith's efficiency, an underrated defense and the coaching of Urban Meyer, the Utes beat every opponent in 2004 by at least two touchdowns each.

Season MVP: Quarterback Alex Smith, the following season's No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, became one of the best players in Utah history with his play in 2004. He tossed 32 touchdowns to only four interceptions with 2,952 yards leading Meyer's innovative offense. He was a rushing threat as well, scoring 10 touchdowns on the ground with 631 yards throughout the season. Smith was accurate, athletic and ran the offense with precision for that undefeated team.

Legacy: This Utes team was not only a "BCS buster," but an incredibly talented and deep team. Players like Smith, Eric Weddle, Sione Pouha, Jonathan Fanene and Chris Kemoeatu went on to have good to great careers in the NFL and Meyer moved on to win two National Championships with Florida. This Utes team started off nearly a decade of winning seasons and elevated Utah to a destination for recruits in the Mountain West Conference.






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