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Alex Smith to start as 49ers' quarterback

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Prized rookie Alex Smith has been named the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.

Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, will make his first NFL start this Sunday at home against the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts. The 49ers are 1-3.

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"I feel like Alex gives us the best chance to win, and I believe he's ready," said San Francisco Coach Mike Nolan. "Tim has handled everything from the pre-season to the regular season extremely well, but I believe Alex has also handled his role very well also. He's prepared each week real well."

At Utah in 2004, Smith was the first player in school history to be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy after leading the Utes to an undefeated season. He has seen limited action so far this year, completing 6-of-11 passes for 34 yards.

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