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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy (3) celebrates a tackle on San Diego State Aztecs running back Adam Muema (4) during the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012.

SAN DIEGO — A stellar BYU defense compensated for an anemic offense as the Cougars scored two defensive touchdowns to defeat the San Diego State Aztecs, 23-6, in the Poinsettia Bowl on Thursday night.

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy scored twice, once on a forced fumble and recovery in the endzone and again on an interception return, to give the Cougars two of their three fourth-quarter touchdowns.

The Aztecs took a 6-3 lead into the fourth quarter, but BYU's defense foiled them again and again. The Cougars forced five Aztec turnovers in the game.

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Quarterback James Lark had an inconsistent performance, but with Van Noy and the defense leading the way, he didn't need to do much. He finished 23-of-42 with 244 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

BYU punter Riley Stephenson also played a key role, pinning the Aztecs back several times and forcing them to take risks that led to turnovers.

Running back Jamaal Williams provided the lone offensive touchdown for the Cougars, a 14-yard scamper after defensive back Jordan Johnson recovered a fumble.

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