9:00 PM ET, October 30, 2004
Qualcomm Stadium, SAN DIEGO, CA
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Urban Meyer just won't bite on BCS talk.
Meyer's Utah Utes (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9 AP) remained undefeated with a 51-28 win over San Diego State on Saturday night, thanks to Alex Smith's career-high five touchdown passes.
The Utes (8-0, 4-0 Mountain West) are attempting to become the first team from a non-BCS conference to participate in the Bowl Championship Series.
Utah moved up to No. 6 in the BCS standings last week, putting it in position for an automatic bid to one of the four marquee postseason games.
As he did all week, Meyer didn't want to talk about the BCS.
"The best thing about being 8-0 is it gives us a chance to be 9-0," Meyer said. "That's the only thing we are focused on."
Two of the Utes' remaining three games are at home, starting with Colorado State on Saturday.
Miami and Florida State, ranked ahead of Utah in the BCS standings, lost Saturday.
Asked about Utah's chances to move up in the BCS standings, Smith said, "That's up to the computers and the voters. Hopefully we can prove a point each week and prove that much more."
Smith, who played at Helix High in nearby La Mesa, threw a 23-yard TD pass to Steve Savoy with 13:12 left to set his career high. Smith had previously thrown four touchdown passes twice, against North Carolina on Oct. 16 and New Mexico last year.
"They were bringing it all night," Smith. "They brought a lot of pressure, and our line did a good job of giving me time to throw so we could take advantage of it."
Smith threw his first four scoring passes in the first half. He hit Paris Warren on TD throws of 5 and 10 yards and had an 18-yarder to Savoy and a 3-yarder to Travis LaTendresse.
Running Utah's diverse offense, Smith was 22-of-33 for 298 yards, with no interceptions, and gained 45 yards on 15 carries. Warren had 10 catches for 113 yards. Utah had 548 total yards.
San Diego State (2-6, 0-4) lost its fifth straight game. The Aztecs remained winless in 14 games against top 10 opponents and have lost 17 straight overall against ranked teams.
Redshirt freshman Kevin O'Connell, making his second start at quarterback for the Aztecs, threw touchdown passes of 29 and 21 yards to Jeff Webb and ran 5 yards for another score. He was 21-of-43 for 252 yards, with two interceptions. Webb had nine catches for 138 yards.
Smith led the Utes to scores on their first four possessions and seven of their first eight.
The streak was interrupted when San Diego State's Blake Lobel picked up a fumble by receiver John Madsen and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown to pull the Aztecs to 24-21 late in the second quarter.
With two quick scores before halftime and one right after, the Utes quickly pushed their lead to 41-21.
The teams combined for 45 points in the second quarter, with Utah scoring the last 10 to take a 34-21 halftime lead.
David Carroll kicked a 36-yard field goal with 1:14 left and Smith threw a 3-yard TD pass to LaTendresse one play after Blake Burdette blocked a punt that was recovered by Tim Harris.
"To do that right before the half, our locker room was out of their minds," Meyer said. "Their locker room, I'm sure, was like, 'What the hell just happened?' I think that was the turning point of the game."
Utah didn't have to punt until midway through the third quarter, and it wasn't pretty. Matt Kovacevich's kick went only 16 yards after it glanced off the back of lineman Jason Voss.
"Overall, I came away very impressed with Utah's football team," San Diego State coach Tom Craft said.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-14||5-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||2-3|
|TD||8:17||PARIS WARREN 5 YD PASS FROM ALEX SMITH (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 61 yards.
|FG||2:02||DAVID CARROLL 27 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||14:56||JEFF WEBB 29 YD PASS FROM KEVIN O'CONNELL (GARRETT PALMER KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||14:22||PARIS WARREN 10 YD PASS FROM ALEX SMITH (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 79 yards.
|TD||11:24||KEVIN O'CONNELL 5 YD RUN (GARRETT PALMER KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||7:49||STEVE SAVOY 18 YD PASS FROM ALEX SMITH (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||3:37||BLAKE LOBEL 19 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (GARRETT PALMER KICK)||24||21|
|FG||1:14||DAVID CARROLL 36 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 53 yards.
|TD||0:45||TRAVIS LATENDRESSE 3 YD PASS FROM ALEX SMITH (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 3 yards.
|TD||12:45||MARTY JOHNSON 4 YD RUN (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||14:51||JEFF WEBB 21 YD PASS FROM KEVIN O'CONNELL (GARRETT PALMER KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||13:12||STEVE SAVOY 23 YD PASS FROM ALEX SMITH (DAVID CARROLL KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 68 yards.
|FG||8:26||DAVID CARROLL 23 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 49 yards.