Urban Meyer Credits Alex Smith With ‘Accidentally’ Inventing The Run-Pass Option At Utah

Aug 31, 2019, 4:26 PM | Updated: 4:44 pm
Alex Smith Utah...
Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the University of Utah scrambles for a first down as John Denney #92 of BYU gives chase during the second quarter November 20, 2004 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, California – Former Utah football head coach Urban Meyer credited former Utah quarterback Alex Smith for inventing the run-pass option in a spread offense of college football.

Meyer gave Smith the inventor label when breaking down RPOs in a spread offense during Fox Sports’ Big Noon Kickoff show on Saturday, August 31.

Meyer said that he had never seen the play before when Smith ran it during a game during his playing days with the Utes.

“Alex Smith being the very intelligently player that he is, flips it out there and he (the wide receiver) takes off running,” said Meyer as he broke down the play where he first saw Smith use a run-pass option.


“I’m standing in the back saying, ‘What was that play?'” continued Meyer.

“Kyle Whittingham my D-coordinator is running at me with a script and said, ‘I’ve never seen that play before what is that?'” Meyer said of Smith’s decision, “I looked at Dan Mullen and said, ‘I’ve never seen that either. Do it again.'”

“That was the evolution of the spread offense,” said Meyer.

Smith’s Collegiate Career

Smith played QB at Utah from 2002-04. He threw for over 5,200 yards and 47 touchdowns in his three years at the U.

Following his junior season, Smith entered the 2005 NFL Draft where he was selected with the number one overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers.

Smith is currently a member of the Washington Redskins. Right now, he is recovering from a broken leg he suffered in November 2018.

Urban Meyer coached Alex Smith at Utah from 2003-04.

Meyer, formerly the head coach of Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State, is now a college football analyst for Fox Sports.

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