ORLANDO, Calif. — Christian Stewart made his first start at quarterback for Brigham Young University Thursday as the Cougars suffered a 31-24 loss in overtime to Central Florida.
Central Florida got on the board on their first drive of the game, which culminated in a 5-yard touchdown run by Justin Holman. BYU corner Jordon Johnson was hurt during the play and was taken to a hospital.
The score was 10-3 in Florida’s favor going into the half, but BYU’s offense came alive in the third quarter to tie the game at 10 on a Stewart to Colby Pearson touchdown pass.
BYU increased their lead to 17-10, this time on a pass from Stewart to tight end Devin Mahina. The two would connect again in the third to give the Cougars a 24-10 lead.
UCF rallied back, and their comeback included a 37-yard touchdown pass from Justin Holman to John Reese.
Florida had the opportunity to win the game on a 50-yard field goal with the game tied at 24, but BYU’s Mitch Matthews stepped up to block the kick and send the game to overtime.
Florida began the overtime period with possession and scored. BYU was unable to match that touchdown. Their drive terminated in a fourth and three situation resulting in an incomplete pass from Stewart to Jordan Leslie.
BYU has lost two games in a row, and last week starting quarterback Taysom Hill was injured in the match up against in-state rival Utah State University.
The Cougars will play next on October 18, when they will host the Nevada Wolf Pack at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m.