The Brigham Young Cougars beat the San Diego State Aztecs 23-6 in the Poinsettia Bowl. Perhaps more than any other BYU game this season, the Poinsettia Bowl showed how the momentum from one play can completely change the dynamics of a game.
Mo Moment 1
BYU had stopped
’s game opening drive with an
interception by Ezekiel Ansah on a tipped pass. The Cougar offense, however, a false
start penalty and wet field conditions resulted in BYU punting after three
plays. Riley Stephenson was second in the nation coming into the game averaging
over 47 yards per punt. His punt went just 29 yards. San Diego
should have had the ball
around the 20-yard line. The shanked punt gave the Aztecs the ball at their own
38-yard line. San Diego
took the ball and scored the first points of the game on a field goal. San Diego State
Mo Moment 2
Near the end of the first quarter,
forced another three and out by the BYU offense. BYU was in position to pin San
Diego State deep
in its own territory with a good punt. Stephenson shanked it again. This time
for 26 yards. San
Momentum boost! The Aztecs had good field position again. Taking over at their own 33-yard line, the Aztecs moved down the field and kicked a second field goal to take a 6-0 lead.
Mo Moment 3
With the BYU offense continuing to struggle, BYU made a change at quarterback and inserted Riley Nelson. With approximately six minutes to play in the first half, Nelson threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Except,
made an illegal block below the waist on BYU offensive lineman Ryker Mathews as
he chased after the ball carrier. San Diego State
Momentum swing! Rather than taking control of the game with a 13-0 lead,
took over at BYU’s 29-yard line. A holding penalty on second down negated a
first down run. San Diego State
ended up punting the ball on 4th and 17. San Diego State
Mo Moment 4
’s punt on 4th and
17, BYU had to score before
halftime. BYU was moving the ball, but it didn’t look like they were going fast
enough to get any points. On 3rd and 10 from the San Diego
44-yard line, James Lark connected with Devin Mahina for 38 yards. San
Momentum boost! With 9 seconds left, BYU was now in field goal range. After an incomplete pass, BYU kicked a field goal on the final play of the first half to make it a 6-3 game.
Mo Moment 5
BYU received the ball to start the second half. With the momentum gained at the end of the first half, the BYU offense moved the ball better than it had all first half. BYU moved the ball into
territory, but the Aztecs got pressure and forced a bad throw that was intercepted.
Momentum swing! If BYU scores a touchdown on that drive, they are in control of the game. The interception turned this game back into a defensive struggle. BYU could do nothing the rest of the third quarter. Not even after blocking a punt and taking over at a
35-yard line could BYU score points. San
Mo Moment 6
Momentum swing! Van Noy’s third career touchdown gave BYU its first lead of the game 10-6.
Mo Moment 7
very next offensive play after the Van Noy touchdown, a bad exchange on the
snap between the Aztec center and quarterback resulted in a fumble that bounced
around and around and around. Finally, BYU defensive back Jordan Johnson fell
on the ball. San Diego State
Momentum boost! Johnson’s fumble recovery opened the flood gates. BYU had been unable to run the ball all night long. Following the fumble, Jamaal Williams broke loose for a 14-yard touchdown. That made it 16-6. Even though there was still over 12 minutes to play, you could sense that BYU was in complete control and there was no way the Aztecs were going to comeback from the 10-point deficit.
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