BYU Cougars at Central Florida Knights (-3.5,
Brigham Young’s hopes of an undefeated season and a major bowl
bid likely came crashing down about the same time it lost
Heisman Trophy hopeful Taysom Hill for the season last weekend.
The Cougars look to rally around replacement Christian Stewart
on Thursday at Central Florida as they try to rebound from
their first loss. Hill, who had BYU off to its best start since
2008, was responsible for 326 yards of total offense per game
and accounted for 13 total touchdowns through four contests.
However, Hill fractured his left leg late in the first half of
the Cougars’ 35-20 home loss to Utah State, which limited a
Stewart-led offense to two second-half field goals and
intercepted him three times. “It was a tough situation (to see)
your best friend coming off the field hurt. … It’s a terrible
thing that Taysom went down, but if there’s a guy that’s ready
to step up, it’s me,” Stewart told reporters after the loss.
The Knights opened up American Athletic Conference play last
Thursday with a 17-12 win at Houston as safety Brandon
Alexander forced a game-saving fumble at the goal line with 24
seconds left to preserve the victory.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE HISTORY: The Knights opened as 3-point
home faves but that has moved to -3.5. The total has held at
INJURY REPORT: BYU – QB Taysom Hill (Out for season,
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-70s
with partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow across the field at 7
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The broken leg suffered by
star QB Taysom Hill in last week’s stunning loss to Utah State
is a potentially devastating blow for the Cougars, who has
vision set on crashing the Power Five party. Expect the Cougars
to rally around new QB Christian Stewart in his first start
this Thursday. On the flip side, the Knights have been
out gained in all three games versus fellow FBS foes this
season despite a 2-1 record in those contests.” Covers
Expert Marc Lawrence.
ABOUT BRIGHAM YOUNG (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS, 3-2
O/U): Jamaal Williams became the first player other
than Hill to pace BYU’s ground attack, rushing for 99 yards
last week to move into sole possession of eighth place on the
school’s all-time list (2,403). Mitch Mathews (career-high 135
yards) and Jordan Leslie (career-high 117) each exceeded 100
yards receiving against Utah State, becoming the first pair of
BYU receivers to do so in the same game since Austin Collie and
Michael Reed accomplished the feat in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl.
BYU recorded a season-high four giveaways against the Aggies
and has committed multiple turnovers in four of its five games.
ABOUT CENTRAL FLORIDA (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 1-3
O/U): J.J. Worton managed only one catch for nine
yards versus Houston, but it was enough for him to become the
10th Knight to amass over 2,000 career receiving yards. Thomas
Niles has posted a sack in each of Central Florida’s last five
games and can become the first player in school history to
notch one in six straight with another against BYU. In large
part due to Niles and Jaryl Mamea, who became the 20th Central
Florida player to register three sacks in a game last weekend,
the Knights have collected 11 of their 14 sacks this season
over the last two contests.
* Under is 5-0 in Cougar’s last five Thursday games.
* Cougars are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
* Knights are 5-0 ATS in their last five Thursday games.
* Under is 4-1 in Knights last five home games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: According to Covers
Consensus, 52 percent of bettors are supporting the UCF