BYU needed a victory to become bowl eligible, and Christian Stewart and the BYU offense delivered one in Provo Saturday night.
The BYU offense got off to a slow start and allowed UNLV to strike first with a field goal. They finally got rolling when Stewart hit Jordan Leslie on a lateral that he took 30 yards for a TD.
Paul Lasike opened up the game with an eight-yard TD rumble. It went sideways for a minute when Shaquille Murray-Lawrence scored on a 68-yard Sportscenter moment, and then the Cougars kickoff return team fumbled away the ensuing kick. At that point the score was 14-13 in favor of the home team, but momentum was completely in favor of the visitors. BYU then began to pound the ball with the running game and Lasike scored again on a 4 yard TD run.
Christian Stewart took advantage of the running productivity and took to the air, completing a 15-yard TD to Devin Mahina, then a 26 yarder to Lasike on a delayed route right over the middle of the field, and finishing off with an eight-yard pass to Mitch Matthews.
No scoring for either team as they traded punts up and down the field as the clock expired.
Christian Stewart had an amazing statistical night going 18/32 for 325 yards and 3 TDs. He looks more confident than ever throwing it downfield and is beginning to show a more refined ball in the middle to long-range throws. He is also impressing with more pocket awareness, as he was able to escape big pressure several times tonight. Paul Lasike led the way for the BYU rushing attack with 3 total TDs, but 6 other players got in on the action to combine as a team for 267 yards. Mitch Matthews and Jordan Leslie are proving to be an extremely reliable duo for Stewart. They combined for 11 receptions and 188 total yards.
The only area of concern tonight was the special teams. There were several fumbles and the kickoff return team was fooled several times by UNLV pooch kicks. Hopefully these issues are taken care of before they travel to Berkeley in two weeks.