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BYU football: Craig Bills hit sets early tone for BYU defense in first half against San Diego State

Published: Thursday, Dec. 20 2012 9:45 p.m. MST

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. (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. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

BYU's defense gave up early yards to SDSU sensational running back Adam Muema, but the Aztecs failed to score a touchdown in a first half they dominated.

Some of the credit for BYU's defense early in the Poinsettia Bowl goes to safeties Craig Bills and Daniel Sorensen, who made a lot of tackles on a slippery turf in which SDSU had a lot of success gaining big yards.

But it was Bills' hit on SDSU receiver Colin Lockett at the goal line that appeared to wake up BYU's defense in the first quarter. SDSU led the Cougars 6-3 at halftime. It could have been 21-3.

Bills caught Lockett running a post pattern with the ball headed for his hands when he lowered his shoulder and took Lockett right off his feet. Lockett did not get up for three minutes as officials directed Aztec trainers to the field. He walked off under his own power and returned to the game.

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) 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)

The turf in Qualcomm Stadium was a factor for both teams. A myriad of players lost their footing through the game on slips and slids and failed to make plays due to poor footing.

Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at dharmon@desnews.com.

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