Ute better believe it: Smith a candidate

Updated: November 4, 2004, 1:12 AM ET
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah quarterback Alex Smith learned Wednesday he is officially a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Utah received notification from the Heisman Trophy Trust that Smith is among approximately 15 players on the list. Heisman ballots will be mailed out later this month and the winner announced Dec. 11 in New York.

Utah has never had a Heisman finalist.

"It's a huge individual honor -- the biggest individual honor in football," Smith said after practice Wednesday. "It's no longer just talk. Absolutely, it's overwhelming."

The Utes are 17-1 since Smith took over as the starter early last year. This season, he has completed 131 of 203 passes for 1,905 yards and 20 touchdowns with only two interceptions and has the Utes (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) within one victory of the best start in school history.

Utah can improve to 9-0 Saturday with a win at home against Colorado State.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press