Poinsettia Analysis: BYU 23, SDSU 6

Posted Dec 21, 2012

The instant analysis and reaction to the 2012 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

- San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - Game Story & Preview - BYU 23, San Diego State 6

BYU and linebacker Kyle Van Noy opened up a tight battle with a forced fumble and recovery for a fourth quarter score to break out after managing just a field goal in the first half, and then he put the game away with a 17-yard interception return for a score. San Diego State got up 6-0 in the first half on Chance Marden field goals from 27 and 23 yards away, but BYU scored 23 unanswered points with a Jamaal Williams 14-yard touchdown run to go along with the two Van Noy scores in fourth quarter. Each team threw three picks, but the Aztecs also gave away two fumbles leading to scores.

BYU: LB Kyle Van Noy made eight tackles with 1.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and the recovery for a score, blocked a kick and took an interception 17 yards for a touchdown. … LB Brandon Ogletree led the Cougars with ten tackles and two tackles for loss. … Riley Nelson attempted two passes with a pick, while James Lark completed 23-of-42 passes for 244 yards and two picks. … Cody Hoffman caught ten passes for 114 yards and a score. … Riley Stephenson averaged just 33.5 yards on his eight kicks, but six were put inside the 20 and four put inside the five. … BYU ran for just 52 yards.

San Diego State: The Aztecs were outgained 296 to 263 and turned the ball over five times. ... Third down conversions: BYU 10-of-19, SDSU 2-of-15. … QB Adam Dingwell completed 12-of-29 passes for 144 yards with three picks. … Adam Muema ran 26 times for 103 yards. … LB Nick Tenhaeff made seven tackles with two tackles for loss, and safety Nat Berhe made seven stops with two broken up passes.

By Rich Cirminiello

BYU LB Kyle Van Noy is ready for the next level. The junior has excellent size to go along with the explosive athleticism and closing speed to make plays all over the field. He'll be in Provo next fall, but only on the weekend that his NFL team has a bye week.

San Diego State RB Adam Muema deserved a much better fate tonight. The sophomore broke the 100-yard mark on a BYU defense that entered the game ranked No. 2 in the country. Heck, Georgia Tech and its triple-option only managed 117 yards on the Cougars during the regular season.

Van Noy aside, BYU's MVP might have been its punter, Riley Stephenson. He consistently flipped the field on the Aztecs offense, pinning it inside the 20-yard line on six of eight punts, including four inside the three-yard line.

BYU WR Cody Hoffman is Keenan Allen of Cal. Well-sized, physical, sure-handed … and not nearly as good as he will be once he finally gets paired up with a quality quarterback.

Whatever San Diego State decides to do about its future conference, it can always say that it performed like a Big East team during the 2012 postseason.

San Diego State just became the sixth team this year that failed to score a touchdown on the BYU defense. The Cougars might have been unstoppable had they gotten even modest support from the offense?

By Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFN

- Yeah this game was an eyesore for the most part, but it was still football that can fill a void until the big games. If you're a college football junkie, you're watching anyone toting a pigskin whether it be in Pop Warner, high-school, college, the NFL, or your cousin with the loud-mouth making a train wreck of athletic feats in the backyard during the holidays.

- For those of you who hadn't gotten a glimpse of this BYU defense, welcome to the world. The Cougars used to be known for slinging the ball all over the field and simply trying to hang with ‘em on the defensive side. Not so this year. This game was exhibit A that defense has a place in Provo.

- Speaking of which, you can't say anything about this game without pointing out the dominant performance by LB Kyle Van Noy. The junior did everything from stripping ball carriers, to scoring TDs, to cooking the team meal and taping up ankles. He might be coming for your job next.

- Doesn't it feel a little strange to watch the Aztecs trip all over themselves on the eve of the so-called Mayan apocalypse? Hmmm...

- Where will BYU end up when all of the changing of the college landscape is complete? Being an independent--and a rather attractive one at that--you gotta believe the courting will begin in earnest. Here's guessing the Big East is out of the mix.

- Along those same lines, it's still curious to ponder what San Diego State (and Boise State for that matter) will do with the pending implosion of the Eastern seaboard. The clock is ticking--right about.....now.

By Terry Johnson
Follow me @TPJCollFootball

What is it with teams from Utah, bowl games, and fourth quarter scoring spurts?

Contrary to popular opinion, the entire game was fun to watch. Sure, the offenses struggled at times, but both defenses deserve the credit for forcing so many turnovers.

On the other hand, it looked like P Riley Stephenson, who landed six punts inside the 20-yard line, was going to win the player of the game award heading into the final stanza.

There's no doubt that Mendenhall will eventually end up at a big-time program. Despite having virtually no offense, his team still managed to win with solid defense and special teams play. That knack for finding a way to win when things aren't going well will definitely draw interest from other schools.

His 6-2 record in bowl games is another reason why the big boys will come calling.

Is Kyle Van Noy ready for the NFL? After stealing the show tonight, his draft stock couldn't possibly be any higher.

Why did San Diego State abruptly stop running Adam Muema at the end of the third quarter? I don't buy the explanation that Rocky Long gave Jemele Hill saying that he switched to Price so that he could call more straight ahead running plays. After all, Muema was sitting on the bench with his helmet off on a third down play -- just two plays after BYU stopped him for no gain. He didn't receive another carry after that.