PROVO — Kyle Van Noy issued a heartfelt apology after BYU's 56-3 blowout Saturday.
But causing defensive damage and busting up Idaho State's offensive plans were not the impetus behind Van Noy seeking out Idaho State coach Mike Kramer to tell him he was sorry.
The linebacker regretted pounding ISU's punter out of action.
"To be honest," Van Noy said, "I didn't know it was a late hit."
He didn't realize it was the punter he'd plastered, either.
"I apologized to the coach because I didn't want to come off as a dirty player or make our team look bad," Van Noy said. "I didn't want any controversy with that, so I just wanted to show him some sportsmanship and apologize."
The painful play resulted in a personal foul against Van Noy, ended punter David Harrington's game with a concussion and sent Kramer bouncing in fury on the field.
Kramer called a timeout to fume at the officials. He remained livid at halftime. The first-year ISU coach told BYUtv at halftime that he didn't think something like that would happen at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Because it did, Kramer received postgame remorse from BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall and Van Noy.
"He took my apology and was happy that I came to apologize," Van Noy said. "It just showed who I am as a person."
Mendenhall didn't have a good glance at the play, but he noted that Van Noy approached Kramer on his volition.
"I don't know how late it was or how malicious it was or how out of bounds it was in terms of the rules," Mendenhall said. "Clearly their coach wouldn't have reacted that way if it wasn't anything other than a penalty."
The punter will likely miss next week's game at Montana State. Idaho State won't be sorry to not see Van Noy in Bozeman.
The sophomore wreaked havoc on the lower-level opponent, hustling, hammering and harassing for three quarterback hurries, two sacks and another solo stop for a loss that reversed the Bengals' course by a combined 18 yards.
To make Harrington's day worse, Van Noy also blocked a punt.
"The guy, he just makes a lot of football plays," Mendenhall said. "He has a very high … football IQ. He's a student of the game. He loves it and just is very intuitive."
And wickedly fast for a beastly 6-foot-3, 235-pounder.
"We're taught to be basically animals by Coach Mendenhall, and it starts in practice," said Van Noy, whose play sparked the defensive side in setting an early tone for the Cougs' defense. "We're always going to be aggressive no matter what. That's just how we're taught to play here at BYU."
Van Noy uncorked the blowout bottle and set up BYU's first score with his block early in the first quarter. He said he "got lucky," but his luck ran out after he recovered the ball and fell.
"I wish I'd scored the touchdown, but I slipped — looked unathletic," he said, laughing. "But it's all good."
Turned out great for his apartment.
Van Noy's roommate, Ross Apo, hauled in a 15-yard touchdown on the next play to put BYU up 7-0.
"It's just exciting to have back-to-back plays like that," Apo said.
"It's good to have the roommate score some touchdowns," Van Noy, seated next to his roomie in the press conference, said. "I think highly of Ross. He's like my brother, so it's always fun to have that on the field and get pretty excited."
Apo laughed when asked what the intense Van Noy's demeanor is like at home.
"Ninety percent of the time he's still aggressive. I get the good side out of Kyle every day," Apo joked. "You guys probably never see it. Even people at school, they ask me, 'Is Kyle really mean?'"
"No. He's a nice guy," Apo said. Still grinning, he added: "Sometimes he can be aggressive when nothing's going on."
Tell Idaho State about it.
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