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Provo • Christian Stewart once said he came to BYU and walked on after a standout career at Snow College to be the Cougars' starting quarterback, and not a backup.

He got his chance on Friday night in a 35-20 loss to Utah State, and will hold that title the rest of the season, barring something unforeseen.

Stewart entered the game in the second quarter after Taysom Hill — a fringe Heisman Trophy candidate — suffered a season-ending fracture of his left leg, but was unable to deliver a come-from-behind victory.

Stewart completed 10 of 29 passes for 172 yards and was intercepted three times as the Aggies snapped a 17-game losing streak in Provo. He ran seven times for 11 yards.

"Of course it is a great loss for us," said receiver Jordan Leslie. "… But we have all the faith in the world in Christian Stewart."

Stewart entered the game late in the second quarter after Hill's 2-yard run on second down. Jamaal Williams picked up three yards on third down, and the Cougars were going to go for it on 4th-and-1 near midfield.

But Tuni Kanuch was flagged for a false start, and BYU punted.

A few plays later, USU's Darell Garretson threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Sharp, and USU had a 28-14 lead and all the momentum going into halftime.

Stewart moved the Cougars from their 10 to the USU 9 on BYU's first possession of the second half, but a throw slipped through Leslie's hands and into the hands of USU's Torrey Green at the 2-yard line.

The Cougars got no closer to the end zone the rest of the second half, settling for a pair of field goals.

"We trust our quarterbacks, no matter who it is, to make a play," receiver Mitch Mathews said.

Stewart's last two interceptions came on bad throws. He may have been hit on the pick by USU's Devin Centers. Later, he badly overthrew Leslie and Frankie Sutera was there for the easy interception.

Twitter: @drewjay —

A closer look

BYU backup quarterback Christian Stewart against Utah State:

Att. Comp. Yards TDs Ints

29 10 172 0 3

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