Christian Stewart’s pass attempt to Jordan Leslie fell incomplete on 4th and 3, and the Cougars lost to the UCF Knights 31-24 in overtime Thursday.
The UCF defensive back appeared in coverage to have interfered with Leslie as the ball was in the air, but no penalty was called.
UCF possessed the ball first in the overtime and scored as quarterback Justin Holman hit running back William Stanback out of the backfield on a four-yard touchdown pass on 3rd and goal. The Knights had a chance to win the game in regulation when they attempted a 50-yard field with nine seconds remaining, but 6-foot-6-inch Cougar receiver Mitch Matthews blocked the attempt.
BYU came out firing in the third quarter after trailing 10-3 at halftime. After receiving the second-half kickoff, Stewart drove the Cougar offense into the red zone, where he hit a crossing Colby Pearson for a four-yard touchdown pass.
Later, a Scott Arellano punt grazed a Knight player and was recovered by the Cougars at the UCF 25-yard line. Two plays later, Stewart found tight end Devin Mahina on a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Safety Skye PoVey then intercepted UCF’s Holman on the ensuing drive, setting up a second Stewart-to-Mahina touchdown connection on the following play. Stewart would finish the game 22-37, passing for 153 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
A 58-yard UCF kickoff return by Rannell Hill set up a two-yard Stanback touchdown run that cut the Cougar lead to 24-17 with 5:37 left in the third quarter. The Cougars responded by going 67 yards in 13 plays to the UCF 15, but the drive stalled when running back Algie Brown fumbled the ball away at the start of the fourth quarter. After trading punts, UCF knotted the game up on a 37-yard Holman touchdown pass with 10:32 left to play.
Stewart was able to lead the Cougars down to the UCF 37 with 1:25 left in regulation, but an incompletion on 3rd and 8 forced them to punt the ball away.
The Cougars will look to end their two-game skid when they square off against Nevada Oct. 18 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.