SAN DIEGO, Calif. – After three slow quarters, Kyle Van Noy and Brigham Young University’s defense picked it up in the fourth to pull ahead of the San Diego State Aztecs 23-6 in the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday.
The first three quarters of the game were uneventful, with San Diego State leading 6-3 at the beginning of the fourth quarter before a forced fumble and recovery for a touchdown by Van Noy with 12:32 left in the game put the momentum in the Cougars’ favor.
The Aztecs didn’t have the ball for long. On their first play after the kickoff, QB Adam Dingwell fumbled the snap and the Cougars recovered. Jamaal Williams rushed for a 14-yard TD on the next play. Justin Sorensen missed the PAT and BYU went up 16-6.
Later in the fourth, Van Noy grabbed an interception for a touchdown, marking a 20-point turnaround thanks to the defense and putting the Cougars up 23-6, a score that stood for the rest of the game.
Van Noy finished the game with a sack, a forced fumble for a TD, a blocked punt and an interception for a TD. He scored more touchdowns than any other player in the game.
QB James Lark completed 23 of 42 passes for 244 yards and two interceptions.
Riley Nelson, who started the season as BYU’s starting QB, had one rush for 13 yards and 2 pass attempts, one was intercepted and returned for a TD in the second quarter, but the score was overturned.
Dingwell completed 12 of 29 for 144 yards. He had five turnovers, including three interceptions. Four of those turnovers were in the fourth quarter.
The bowl win is the Cougars’ sixth in seven years and fourth in a row.