The start of the BYU Football season is now only two weeks away!
We are now closer to the start of the Football season than we are away from the start of August. Yesterday as I was thinking about the game, I realized that Utah has everything to lose this year, and that is a great chance for BYU Football. While this doesn't mean the game shouldn't be played, it just is the way it plays out this year. In other years it could be that for BYU. If Utah was 4-8 and BYU was 11-0 going into the final week, then BYU has everything to lose and the Utes would have essentially nothing to lose.
This is just the first time that it really goes against Utah.
Something that fans seem to forget is that believe it or not, this eight game winning streak is nothing new compared to the past streaks. Just some of them include:
9 game win streak by BYU 1979-1987
9 game win streak by Utah 1929-1937
6 game win streak by BYU 1972-1977
The crazy thing is, the rivalry has only really been competitive during one decade from 1996-2006. Besides that it was always BYU winning eight out of then, Utah winning nine out of ten, BYU winning four then Utah winning four etc... So this whole eight game winning streak is nothing out of the ordinary for the Cougars or Utes.
Does that mean the game will be any less competitive, no of course not! In fact, history is showing that it is about time that the Cougars steal a game from the Utes.
Today's player in the countdown never beat the Utes, however if was on the team this year, they would have a good shot at it.
Kyle Van Noy - Linebacker - 2010-2013
I'm not sure that there has ever been a player that shines in the moment as well as Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy statistically wasn't really all that great. Don't get me wrong, he was really good, but is 226 career tackles don't even rank in the Top 25 of BYU defenders all time, and he played all four years in college.
But when he did make an impact it was almost always during a crucial time of the game. That is what made him so special. He could have relatively quiet game, and then all of a sudden get a strip sack that turned the game around.
This is going to connect with the memorable moments category pretty well because his impact also created memorable moments. Not only was Van Noy the team captain, he led by example on the field. Perhaps Bronco Mendenhall advised him to play contain until crucial moments or maybe some kind of urgency went off in his own head but there are dozens of examples of times when Van Noy impacted the game and got the team motivated. I won't go into specifics because that will be covered more in the memorable moments
From a pure statsheet Van Noy was good but not great. He had some games where he only totalled one or two tackles. He had stretches of five or six games where he would only total one sack. There were some positives including 13 sacks his Junior season, a tie for 7th place all time and his 25 career sacks also rank in top eight of all time.
Memorable Moments A+++++
Get ready for a long section. Kyle Van Noy was the master at making memorable plays. I give him credit for beating three teams, two of those games by himself. His play style and his ability to not be stopped by any blockers in the big moments are what make Kyle Van Noy the King of moments. Below is a list of just some of his great moments.
Ole Miss - It was the first game of Independence and the Cougars traveled down to Oxford to begin the season. Van Noy was quiet through the game but came up with a crucial strip sack, fumble recovery touchdown that ended up being the difference in the low scoring 14-13 win for the Cougars
UCF- Van Noy had eight tackles including the final sack in the game as UCF was trying to throw a hail mary to tie/win the game. Van Noy got in the backfield and sacked the QB, essentially ending the game and giving the Cougars a win.
Oregon State - The Beavers (when they were good) appeared to be getting all the momentum on their side driving down the field to the 10 yard line when Kyle Van Noy intercepted a pass near the endzone and returned it to the 50 yard line. The Cougars regained the momentum and went on to win.
Utah State - In a very defensive battle between the Cougars and Aggies, the Aggies were at the goalline with 3rd and goal. Van Noy got into the backfield and stuffed the running back for a two yard loss. The Aggies kicked a field goal and that ended up being the difference in the 7-6 win for the Cougars.
Utah -Kyle Van Noy never beat the Utes, but that was no fault of his own. During his career he totalled an average of 8.3 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a sack. He stopped two fourth down conversion attempts and caused a lot of third and long situations.
San Diego State - This is the famous one. He only had eight tackles, but it seemed like he had 50. He had the strip sack fumble touchdown recovery, a blocked punt, a pick six and three sacks, most of which came in the 4th quarter.