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  • John Sleezer Kansas City (Mo.) Star Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) is sacked by Corey Lemonier, right, and C.J. Spillman in the second quarter of the 49ers' 15-13 preseason victory.

  • John Sleezer / Kansas City (Mo.) Star

    Quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, right, of the 49ers, and Alex Smith of the Chiefs meet after the game.

Rookie B.J. Daniels steals the show in 49ers victory

Published: Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 - 9:48 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The 49ers gave Alex Smith warm handshakes before and after Friday's game and a barrage of big hits during it.

Along with the rest of the Chiefs' starters, Smith played through the first half and was greeted by an array of safety and cornerback blitzes as well as one crown-of-the-helmet hit that resulted in a roughing-the-passer penalty against the 49ers.

Smith left his first game at Arrowhead Stadium as the Chiefs' starter having completed 7 of 16 passes – three of them were dropped – for 62 yards and a 54.7 passer rating.

For most of the half, he was pitted against San Francisco's reserves. The 49ers' defense did not allow a touchdown for the second straight week.

The overriding feeling from both Smith and the 49ers about the encounter – it felt strange.

"It was definitely, definitely different," Smith said. "I mean, those are guys that I played a long time with and got to know really well. It was weird facing them."

Said coach Jim Harbaugh: "It felt a lot like going against my brother, which I've had the opportunity to do. … This was personal in the best kind of way."

While Smith and the quarterback who took his job last year, Colin Kaepernick, were the game's headliners, it was an undercard quarterback, B.J. Daniels, who had the best performance.

Daniels, a seventh-round draft pick, engineered the 49ers' only touchdown drive in San Francisco's 15-13 win.

He hit four different receivers on the 13-play drive in the fourth quarter.

Daniels, a read-option quarterback at South Florida, showed a nice combination of zip and touch before throwing a perfect 14-yard pass to undrafted rookie wideout Chuck Jacobs in the corner of the end zone.

Daniels didn't take a snap in last week's game against Denver, and he's been the fourth quarterback in the 49ers' training-camp practices. Still, Harbaugh said that Daniels is – and has been – in the competition with Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien to be Kaepernick's primary backup.

Asked if he felt he was in the running, Daniels said it's not something he's focused on.

"I'm just excited about the touchdown," said Daniels, who finished 6 of 9 for 72 yards with a 128 passer rating.

The rookie's drive contrasted starkly with the performances by McCoy and Tolzien. However, they mostly played against the Chiefs' starters while Daniels played against the backups.

Running back Frank Gore provided the only early offensive highlight, cutting back to his left and picking up 52 yards to the Kansas City 23-yard line.

Kaepernick completed one pass before Phil Dawson came in for a 42-yard field goal. That was it for the 49ers' starter.

San Francisco's roster battles mostly are at backup positions, and Harbaugh said he wanted to see how those players fared against starting-caliber competition.

McCoy and Tolzien alternated for the rest of the first half.

McCoy, who last week threw an interception on a pass to wideout A.J. Jenkins, twice looked for Jenkins. The first attempt was knocked away by cornerback Sean Smith. The second was picked off by Smith.

Harbaugh said he thought Jenkins had a step on Smith on the play . "I thought he did OK," Harbaugh said of Jenkins.

Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320. Follow him on Twitter @mattbarrows.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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