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Kyle Van Noy saves the Poinsettia Bowl from being a dud

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Let’s hope the Mayans weren’t right because if they are, and the world ends Friday, the Poinsettia Bowl will be the last college football we’ll ever see.

And anyone who watched it knows that’s a terrible prospect.

Some will call the 23-6 BYU win a defensive battle, but it was more like 5 minutes of amazing plays by BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy and whole lot of offensive ineptitude.

San Diego State should have put this game away early.

It’s offense was having success against BYU defense both on the ground and in the air, but the offense kept stalling in the red zone. Then the mistakes started. Receivers were dropping easy passes, and a blocking below the waist call negated a pick-six that would have put SDSU up 13-0. When BYU’s defense settled down in the second half, the Aztecs offense ceased to exist.

That’s mostly because of Van Noy.

Van Noy was relatively quiet in the first half, but in the second half he proved to be the Cougars best source of offensive production.

In the third quarter, he blocked a punt that should have led to BYU points, but the offense sputtered. So in the fourth quarter, Van Noy decided to do everything himself. With the Cougars trailing 6-3, Van Noy sacked San Diego State quarterback Adam Dingwell in the end zone and recovered the quarterback’s fumble for BYU’s first touchdown. A couple series later, Van Noy intercepted Dingwell on the San Diego State 17-yard line and jogged the ball into the end zone to give the Cougars their final score.

If it wasn’t for Van Noy – and the BYU defense – this game would probably have finished as one of the worst games of the season. Instead, Van Noy reaffirmed what we all knew about BYU’s defense, which came into the game ranked No. 3 nationally.

The win gives BYU an 8-5 finish, which is disappointing, considering the seasons the Cougars have had recently, but still more respectable than 7-6.

For San Diego State, the ending couldn’t have been more disappointing. The Aztecs came into the game with a seven-game winning streak and were looking for its first 10-win season since 1977.

And if there's a positive for anyone who watched the game, it's that these two teams don't have any meetings scheduled for the near future.

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