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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.

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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