Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE
Van Noy's two defensive touchdowns were key to the Cougar win.
The BYU Cougars won the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl Thursday, defeating the San Diego State Aztecs 23-6 in a game highlighted by the super-human performance of Cougar linebacker Kyle Van Noy. The junior finished the night with two touchdowns, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception, eight tackles and a blocked punt.
Both offenses struggled mightily throughout the game. San Diego State held a 6-3 halftime lead after 30 minutes of football that featured seven punts, three three-and-out series, two interceptions, and no touchdowns. Only one offensive touchdown was scored in the game's entirety, and the 29 combined points is the lowest total in Poinsettia Bowl history.
The Kyle Van Noy Show began in the third quarter. After San Diego State's first series of the half ended in another three-and-out, the junior BYU linebacker blocked the punt, giving the Cougars the ball at the Aztec 35 yard line. The Cougars were unable to convert on the excellent field position, and the teams again traded scoreless possessions through the third quarter.
Van Noy struck again early in the fourth, in what was the game's pivotal play. A King Holder interception gave San Diego State the ball on their own 3-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Aztecs quarterback Adam Dingwell dropped back to pass. Van Noy came off the right edge, sacked Dingwell, forced a fumble, and recovered it for the game's first touchdown. After the extra point and kickoff, Dingwell was again sacked, and again fumbled, giving BYU the ball deep in San Diego State territory. Halfback Jamaal Williams ran 14 yards for the game's only offensive touchdown, extending the BYU lead to 16-6.
Van Noy recorded another sack on San Diego State's next series, forcing a punt. With 6:29 left in the game and the Cougars' lead still at 10 points, Van Noy intercepted Dingwell and returned the interception for his second touchdown of the night, cementing the Cougar win.
San Diego State quarterback Adam Dingwell had one of the worst nights of his life, completing just 12 of his 29 pass attempts for 144 yards, tossing three interceptions and giving up two crucial fumbles deep in his territory. He was also sacked three times.
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