SAN DIEGO: Linebacker Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble in the end zone and recovered it for a touchdown, and scored on a 17-yard interception return, both in the fourth quarter, to lead BYU to a 23-6 victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday night.
The big plays swung the momentum for the Cougars (8-5) in what had been a tedious defensive struggle. San Diego State (9-4), playing in the hometown bowl for the second time in three years, missed the chance for its first 10-win season since 1977 and had its seven-game winning streak snapped.
Van Noy scored the game’s first TD when he came free and hit Adam Dingwell’s arm as he started to pass in the end zone, forcing and recovering a fumble for a 10-6 lead. The play was ruled a fumble, and the call stood after a video review
Dingwell fumbled the snap on SDSU’s next play from scrimmage and it was recovered by Jordan Johnson at the 14.
Jamaal Williams scored on a run up the middle on the next play, BYU’s second TD in 17 seconds.
With 6:09 left, Van Noy intercepted Dingwell’s pass and weaved through traffic and into the end zone. Van Noy was selected the game’s defensive MVP.
Dingwell finished with five turnovers, including three interceptions. Four of his turnovers were in the fourth quarter.