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Utahns in the NFL: Ex-BYU stars Pitta, Collie come back to rule Week 14

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The BYU Cougars were back in the news in Week 14 of the NFL season. Sitting most of the regular season with a hip injury may have been frustrating to former BYU star and current Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta. But he didn't show any signs of rust on Sunday, December 8, snaring several passes and catching a touchdown.

After watching this performance played in a driving snowstorm at M & T Bank Field in Baltimore, It almost seemed like Pitta had never missed a game due to injury.

After all, ESPN had all but pronounced him done for the year after he suffered his injury -- alas, not even the worldwide leader in sports would do him in.

The former BYU star acquitted himself well in the Ravens' overtime win over Minnesota, and so did former Utah Utes star Matt Asiata for the Vikings in a losing cause -- he had one kick return for 20 yards on a snow-capped field.

But this week belonged to the Cougars and their former wide receivers as well. The New England Patriots re-claimed former Coug Austin Collie off of waivers this week, and Collie acquitted himself well.

And there was one Ute back in the winning column this week. Alex Smith even got his Kansas City Chiefs back among the W's with a nice day throwing the football as he led his Chiefs to a 45-10 demolishing of the Washington Redskins.

Here's how Utahns In The NFL did in more detail...after the jump...

Dennis Pitta - Tight End - Baltimore Ravens (BYU)
Pitta acted like he hadn't missed a game on Sunday, hauling in six passes for 48 yards and one touchdown.

His touchdown was the decider in Baltimore's 29-26 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings and his presence obviously buoyed a team that had been lacking a great tight end all season.

The former BYU star had sat out most of the regular season with a hip injury but you could tell he's back in a big way on Sunday.
That's great news for the Ravens who are in a fight for a playoff berth in the AFC.

Austin Collie - Wide Receiver - New England Patriots (BYU)
Collie bounced back from being waived by the same team that re-claimed him.

In his first game back with the Patriots he had one catch for four yards in New England's 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns. But, now that Rob Gronkowski is out for the rest of the year you can count on Tom Brady getting the ball to Collie more often.

There have been concerns about Collie's health since he has had repeated concussions but so far so good for the ex-BYU star.

And so you can count on more from Collie, especially with Gronk's injury as New England prepares itself for a playoff run.

Alex Smith - Quarterback - Kansas City Chiefs (Utah)
After spending weeks on end in this column -- mostly as a featured guest -- the former Utah Ute star and No. 1 draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers got his Kansas City Chiefs back in the win column Sunday afternoon.

Smith threw for two touchdowns and 137 yards passing in the Chiefs 45-10 thrashing of the Washington Redskins -- this after losing three games in a row.

So the Chiefs and Smith are back -- which is excellent news for fans of Utahns In The NFL.

See you next week!

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