New book looks at Kyle Van Noy's legacy on and off the field, part 1

By Scott Rappleye

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, June 19 2014 10:30 a.m. MDT

Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy (3) gives his mother Kelly his defensive MVP trophy after the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. BYU beat San Diego 23-6.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from the Scott Rappleye's book "Kyle Van Noy: The Game Changer."

San Diego, California, has been like a second home for BYU football. Many historic moments have happened there. Some have come while playing the San Diego State Aztecs when BYU was a member of the Western Athletic Conference and Mountain West Conference. LaVell Edwards earned career victory No. 100 in San Diego. Led by Ty Detmer's then school record 599 yards passing, BYU rallied from a 28-point second half deficit to tie San Diego State 52-52 — an NCAA record for highest scoring tie. The longest run in BYU history — 95 yards — happened on San Diego soil.

Other historic moments have come during bowl games. San Diego is the site of the Holiday Bowl. BYU played in the first seven Holiday Bowl games and 11 times overall from 1978 to 1993. It was during Holiday Bowl III that Jim McMahon led BYU to, arguably, the greatest comeback in college football bowl history as BYU trailed SMU by 20 points with 3:58 to play in the game. Quarterback Steve Young caught a touchdown on the final play of his Cougar career. BYU locked up the 1984 National Championship with a Holiday Bowl victory.

After Provo, it is quite possible that more historic moments in BYU football have happened in San Diego than anywhere else. When BYU was selected to play San Diego State in a bowl game in San Diego, it seemed that another historic moment in Cougar lore was destined to happen.

As an independent, BYU had worked out a deal with the Poinsettia Bowl to play there in 2012, if the Cougars were bowl eligible. The bowl selected the hometown Aztecs to be BYU's opponent. San Diego State was having one of its better seasons. The Aztecs won nine games and beat Boise State in Boise to win a share of the MWC Championship. On the other hand, BYU stumbled into the bowl with a 7-5 record. It appeared to be the perfect chance for San Diego State to exact revenge on the Cougars. For over 35 years, BYU had been a thorn in the Aztecs' side. Most recently, San Diego State felt a controversial ruling on a replay enabled BYU to win the last time these two schools met in 2010.

Beating BYU wouldn't be easy. The Cougars boasted their best defense in school history, and one of the best in the nation. Nevertheless, San Diego State had a 6-3 lead entering the fourth quarter. Kyle Van Noy had played very well through the first three quarters. He already had six tackles, two tackles-for-loss, and blocked a punt. The only problem was that none of Van Noy and the rest of the Cougar defense's stellar play was being reciprocated by the offense.

At the start of the fourth quarter, it appeared the BYU offense had turned the corner. BYU faced third-and-goal at the 4-yard line. However, a throw to the goal line was tipped and intercepted by San Diego State. The Aztecs took over at the 3-yard line.

As the foremost play maker on defense, Van Noy knew it was time to take matters into his own hands.

“We were talking about, as a unit, we need to step up and someone needs to cause a turnover,” Van Noy said after the game.

Causing turnovers was Van Noy's specialty. During the regular season he had forced five fumbles and added an interception. In this crucial moment, he reached into his bag of tricks and dusted off a play from the year before.

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