PROVO — Things went from bad to potentially disastrous for BYU late in the second quarter of the Cougars' game against Utah State on Friday.
With just under three minutes remaining in the first half and BYU trailing 21-14, star quarterback Taysom Hill had his left leg rolled up on after a 2-yard run. The Heisman Trophy candidate was helped to his feet by a teammate, but immediately left the field. Trainers carted him to the locker room after fitting him with an air cast.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall confirmed in postgame that Hill had sustained a lower leg fracture and will miss the next 3-4 months, as a result ---- effectivelly ending his season. Hill will undergo immediate surgery at 7:30 a.m. MDT according to Mendenhall.
Prior to the injury, Hill completed 8 of 11 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown while rushing seven times for another 35 yards and a touchdown. On the season, Hill has accumulated 463 yards rushing, 876 yards passing and 14 touchdowns through 4 1/2 games.
Backup Christian Stewart subbed in for Hill and finished the game with 10-29 passing for 172 yards and three interceptions. Stewart will now be counted on to start for the remainder of the season and expressed confidence in his new role following the game.
"It's a terrible thing that Taysom went down. No one wanted to see that, but if there's a guy that can step up to the challenge it's me," Stewart said. "That's why I came here. That's what I'm about. I'm a leader (and) I'm a confident guy in my abilities. My teammates have that same confidence in me and I could feel that tonight."
Receivers Jordan Leslie and Mitch Mathews .argely agreed with Stewart's self-assessment.
"We have all the faith in the world in Christian Stewart," Leslie said. "He practices with us. He works just as hard...it's just next man up. That's what we have to go by."
"Christian Stewart is a great athlete and he makes great plays in practices," Mathews added. "It's his time to step up, make plays and we trust him. We're going to fight for him."
Email: [email protected], Twitter: @BrandonCGurney