Christian Stewart Breaks Down UNLV

The BYU Cougars look to stay on track with a victory over UNLV in what will be a black-out game tomorrow night. Quarterback Christian Stewart secured his first victory two weeks ago as the team went into a bye week. Stewart talked about the Cougar offense and what he’ll face from the Rebel secondary tomorrow.

The BYU offensive line has come a long ways since the time Garret Tujague took over as the one in charge of straightening out what was a bad situation up front. The interesting thing about the improved o-line is he did so with two freshman, one being a true freshman center. Despite the youth the o-line has come a long ways since last season.

“Tejan and Ului, those guys are big time,” said BYU quarterback Christian Stewart. “I mean, they’re two of the best guys on our team, and they’re both just freshman which just blows my mind with how well they’ve played. I feel like Tejan has really done well settling in. The snaps have been really good this year, I feel like. He’s making the right calls and has done a great job.

“Ului, honestly, unless the guy makes a mistake I don’t know how he’s doing, but I feel like I’ve had plenty of time and we’ve had a great pocket. So, I really trust my o-line and I trust those two particular. I’m really excited for their future. They have a big future in this program and beyond in college football.”

Since Taysom Hill went down with a season ending injury, Christian Stewart has shown a remarkable tendency to spread the field with ball distribution. His style of play reminds one of the old days when BYU quarterbacks would sling the ball around to various receivers in crossing routes down field. Despite the much improved Cougar passing game under his tenure, Stewart claims not much has changed in the play calling from the time when Hill was under center.

“I think the play calling is a little tailored towards me,” said Stewart. “I mean Taysom, a lot of times, will start with Jordan and then to Mitch. If they weren’t there he would then want to make a play with his feet, which he could do that. For me, I would rather stay in the pocket. I’m not as good on my feet, so I want to make plays in the passing game. I feel like that may be the difference. The play calling really hasn’t been too much different. I mean, maybe a little bit different but not dramatically different.”

He also claims nothing has been tailored to suit his skill-set within the passing game as well.

“The plays have been the same,” said Stewart. “We haven’t really changed any routes. Coach will put in a game plan very similar to when Taysom was the starter.”

This weekend the BYU wide receivers will face a man-press secondary with cover zero. Meaning, there won’t be much safety help over the top. This is the type of coverage Stewart loves to compete against.

“Oh yeah I love it,” said Stewart. “I remember one of my games down at Snow College. It was against Phoenix Community College and they just ran cover zero man press and all we did was throw the ball all over the field hitting our hot routes. I’m excited. Yeah, they bring pressure at you a few times but there are big voids and when you break through that front line you have 50 to 60 yard gains. I’m excited about it.”

The type of coverage the Rebels run is similar to what Stewart saw when he scored his first throwing touchdown during the Middle Tennessee State game.

“We have a great scheme in against what we think they will be running,” Stewart said. “We know we can win them just like last week against Middle Tennessee and that first touchdown. I got up there and saw man-press and new that Colby was running an over route and we had a pick for him.

“The line bought us enough time, stepped up into the pocket, and was able to hit him. So, I’m just looking for those man beaters that we’ve designed within the passing game, but also if I see Mitch on a smaller guy I might signal a comeback just because I know we can exploit these guys. We have great receivers and they’re healthy, so I’m excited about it and it’s a quarterback’s dream.”

The safeties will cover the tight ends and other wide receivers if there is a spread element. The Rebel secondary will have their hands full, especially now that tight end Devin Mahina has been on a roll.

“I feel like the safeties are able to cover the tight ends a little bit better because they’re not as fast, but Devin is so big you can just pin it on him and he’ll box out like a basketball player,” said Stewart. “So, we’ll have mismatches all over the field, I feel like.”

Stewarts Three Keys to Victory

For BYU to come away with their second straight victory in the month of November, Stewart gives his three keys to victory to ensure that outcome will be the case.

“The three keys to victory is to start fast, play with confidence, and have fun,” said Stewart. “And I feel like we will play the type of game that we want to play this weekend.”

Cougar Cam: Christian Stewart

Stewart talks about a wide range of topics from targeting Mitch Mathews to the loss of Jamaal Williams. Stewart talks about the running backs and getting the "monkey off the shoulders" with the win over Middle Tennessee. He also talks about the return of Taysom Hill to team meetings and much more!

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