Westside alum hopes to help Connecticut defeat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl
The University of Connecticut accepted an invitation to play in the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 1, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and Westside graduate Michael Smith is ready to help the No. 25 Huskies take down the No. 9 Sooners.
The game is part of the Bowl Championship series and the Huskies earned its BCS appearance by winning the 2010 Big East Championship.
Connecticut will face longtime perennial powerhouse Oklahoma in the game, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. EST and will be televised live on ESPN.
Smith, a junior wide receiver, leads the team in receiving with 42 catches for 595 yards. He also has grabbed two touchdown catches.
Yates alum Kijuan Dabney, a junior defensive back, had 18 tackles and an interception on the season for Connecticut.
The Huskies finished the season with an overall mark of 8-4 and were 5-2 in the Big East. Connecticut began league play 0-2 but won its final five consecutive games to take the BCS spot.
Oklahoma has an 11-2 record and had a 6-2 record in league play. The Sooners defeated Nebraska by a score of 23-20 on Saturday in the Big 12 championship game in Arlington, Texas.
Smith, born Aug. 22, 1990, is a pre-kinesiology major. At Westside, he garnered second-team All-Texas for Class 5A and was a finalist for the Touchdown Club of Houston's Offensive Player of the Year. He was named second-team All-Greater Houston and also made the All-District team. Michael was selected for the 2007 Space City All-Star Game and was nominated as a Houston Chronicle Player to Watch. During his time at Westside as the team captain, he had 74 catches as a senior for 1,024 yards with 11 touchdowns.