Stewart Eager to Maintain Status Quo for BYU

Although BYU quarterback Christian Stewart is a senior, he received his first start last Thursday against the UCF Knights, and although the outcome wasn’t as planned, Stewart looks to try and stay healthy and continue moving the Cougar offense forward as they prepare to take on Nevada this Saturday.

In his first major collegiate start as a BYU quarterback, Christian Stewart went 22/37 for 153 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Two of those touchdowns were to tight end Devin Mahina who ended the night with four receptions for a total of 46 yards.

“It was really just a great game plan, and we had thrown touchdowns on… his second touchdown I had thrown that same exact pass to Brian Sampson during the practice week,” said Stewart. “I hadn’t thrown it to Devin, but we practice that play at practice and it turned out to be the exactly the same look so I knew it was going to be there.

“I made the same throw and it was the same result, which was great. But, honestly, it was just a great game plan. Coach Anae knew that their linebackers were flying in and that’s why we were able to score on that first one. Devin just replaced where the backer was. I don’t have great chemistry with him but he was in the right spot and I was able to make the throw.”

While the UCF game was really the first time the tight end had been utilized effectively this season for BYU, bringing back memories of when the position was a staple feature within the offense, Stewart doesn’t see much change in how the offense will continue to go forward despite the loss of Taysom Hill.

“Honestly I think that we’ll play BYU football,” said Stewart. “I didn’t think that it was too much more simplified last week than any other week when Taysom was running the team. The plan isn’t in yet so I’m not sure exactly what we’ll be doing as far as scheme goes, but I feel it will be very similar to the first six weeks of the season. We’re just going to go out there and play BYU football and make plays and have fun doing it.”

While Stewart might not be Taysom Hill, he’s still possesses some athleticism. He mentioned that he was timed at a 4.6 forty at one time, which isn’t too shabby.

“I was timed at a 4.6,” he said. “It’s not blazing, but it’s not too bad.”

Stewart hopes to continue moving the offense forward without change as though Taysom Hill were still at the helm. The only difference is Stewart isn’t Hill and he knows it, so he’s looking for those around him to clean up their play and help take up some of the slack that Hill covered for in previous games.

“It definitely takes more effort but at the same time it’s a good wake up call to our mistakes,” said Stewart. “I feel like in the first four games we were making a lot of the same mistakes, but Taysom was able to kind of carry the team. I just feel like going forward each guy needs to do his job a little bit better, and if we can do that and just focus on what we can do, and what we need to do, there’s no need to have a negative feeling or negative thoughts. We know we’re a great team and we know we can win.”

However, as Stewart does so he knows the rest of the season falls upon his shoulders, legs, and overall general health. Staying healthy as a quarterback in a read-option offense isn’t an easy task, but the coaching hasn’t given him any specific instructions on how to play his style of football.

“They haven’t said necessarily ‘Don’t get hurt,’” said Stewart. “I mean, at least to me that’s just implied ‘Don’t get hurt’ but definitely have encouraged the sliding and avoiding the hits, which is how I play quarterback. I can’t take the beatings that Taysom can take. I mean, he’s 35 pounds heavier than I am, so that’s just how I want to play football. I want to get rid of the ball quick, get down when I’m in the open field, and I’m probably not going to jump over people or run over people but that’s fine. That’s how I play football.”

With the Nevada Wolfpack up next on the schedule, Stewart took the weekend off to heal up from his debut performance. He knows staying healthy is important and took Saturday off from studying game film on his next opponent. He’ll get to that today.

“No, I’ve actually taken the weekend to kind of gather myself and recuperate,” said Stewart. “I feel like I got into a car crash. My neck was pretty sore, but I got that worked on and then today I plan on today just hitting the ground with Nevada and really studying the film and going forward with the game plan.”

Cougar Cam: Christian Stewart

BYU QB Christian Stewart talks about his first start against UCF. He talks about what he needs to do to get the offense going and what went wrong during the UCF game. Stewart talks about using tight end Devin Mahina and the recent success there and what inspired him to throw to Mahina.

Cougar Cam: Christian Stewart

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