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BYU LB Van Noy scores 2 TDs in Poinsettia Bowl win

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BYU LB Van Noy scores 2 TDs in Poinsettia Bowl win

SAN DIEGO (AP) The Poinsettia Bowl was ponderous, even boring, until Brigham Young linebacker Kyle Van Noy took over.

Van Noy scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone and then on an interception return to lead Brigham Young to a 23-6 victory over San Diego State on Thursday night.

``Turnovers were huge for us,'' said Van Noy, who had two of BYU's five takeaways. ``I think that when we got that first turnover, I think that changed the momentum of the game.''

With San Diego State pinned on its 3 thanks to terrific punt coverage by BYU, Adam Dingwell dropped back to pass in the end zone.

Van Noy broke free from the outside and knocked the ball out of Dingwell's hand and jumped on the fumble for the game's first TD.

The play was upheld after video review.

``I wouldn't make those plays if all 11 guys weren't doing what they were doing,'' Van Noy said. ``The ball just happened to land in my lap.''

Dingwell fumbled the snap on SDSU's next play from scrimmage and it was recovered by Jordan Johnson at the 14. Jamaal Williams scored on a run up the middle on the next play, BYU's second TD in 17 seconds.

With 6:09 left, Van Noy intercepted Dingwell's pass and weaved 17 yards through traffic and into the end zone. Van Noy was selected the game's defensive MVP.

``He's a fantastic football player,'' BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. ``He changed the game for us and was the reason we won.''

The Cougars (8-5) won for the sixth straight time against SDSU, a former rival from the Western Athletic and Mountain West conferences. BYU went independent after the 2010 season, when it beat SDSU thanks to a controversial fumble. BYU was making its 12th bowl appearance in San Diego. The first 11 were in the Holiday Bowl, big brother to the Poinsettia Bowl.

San Diego State (9-4), playing in the hometown bowl for the second time in three years, missed the chance for its first 10-win season since 1977 and had its seven-game winning streak snapped.

Dingwell finished with five turnovers, including three interceptions. Four of his turnovers were in the fourth quarter.

As big as the defensive plays were for the Cougars, their punt unit came up huge in pinning down the Aztecs four times in the second half. They downed two punts by senior Riley Stephenson at the 1, one at the 2 and another at the 3. They were among the six punts inside the 20.

Stephenson ``changed the game,'' Mendenhall said. ``And he could have easily been the MVP.''

SDSU coach Rocky Long agreed.

``I don't know who got the Most Valuable Player, but I'll tell you who I thought the Most Valuable Player was, their punter,'' Long said. ``Field position made it tough on the offense.''

Stephenson said the Cougars practice pooch punts all the time.

``I get more excited when I launch one 60 yards or so,'' he said. ``But with a defense like we've got, we're going to smash any team we go against.

``A lot of times when you're inside the 50 you can't get ahold of it, you just have to drop it down in the corner and hopefully it stays inside the 10,'' he said. ``It's not much of a kick, but look what it did tonight.''

Until Van Noy and Williams scored, the game was a field position struggle.

San Diego State led 6-3 at halftime thanks to Chance Marden's field goals of 27 and 23 yards. Justin Sorensen kicked a 23-yarder for BYU.

San Diego State's Eric Pinkins intercepted Riley Nelson's pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter but the score was negated by a penalty for blocking below the waist. SDSU ended up punting from the BYU 36.

``I thought blocking below the waist on an interception for a touchdown was the key to the game,'' Long said. ``I really believe if we had scored that touchdown, the momentum would have been in our favor the rest of the night.''

James Lark, who started at quarterback for BYU, completed 23 of 42 passes for 244 yards and was intercepted twice.

BYU's Cody Hoffman caught 10 passes for 114 yards and was named offensive MVP.

Dingwell completed 12 of 29 for 144 yards. Adam Muema ran 26 times for 103 yards.

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That time new Wizard Troy Brown dunked on No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley

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That time new Wizard Troy Brown dunked on No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley

Back in high school, the newest Washington Wizard Troy Brown was an athletic freak. So much so that Brown dunked over the No. 2 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, Marvin Bagley III.

Playing at Centennial High School from Las Vegas, Nevada, the 15th overall pick went straight at the dominating 6-11 Bagley and posterized the man.

Now from the other side: 

Although both were merely kids at the time (an each a few inches shorter), still you cannot question the confidence and athleticism of the Wizards' top pick. 

Heck, Brown is still athletic.

Now Oregon never got the chance to play Duke this past season, but Brown will get two chances for another poster on his wall with Bagley now on the Sacramento Kings. 

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Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

DALLAS — Hours after being named head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, Barry Trotz made his first public comments since stepping down in Washington earlier in the week.

And, from the sounds of it, his departure was mostly a business decision.

“Yeah, obviously, I love the D.C. area,” he told reporters on a conference call. “But when it came to the business aspect, from my standpoint, I felt that it wasn’t really sincere [given] what we did together. So I decided that it was better to just move on.”

“I thank the fans,” he added. “I’m glad we could get it done. I said we could get it done in four years, and we did.”

Although the value of his contract with the Islanders has not been publicly disclosed, Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Trotz is set to earn “at least $4 million” per year—or more than twice what he was earning in Washington.

A source told NBC Sports Washington earlier this week that Trotz, who directed the Caps to their first Stanley Cup two weeks ago, sought $5 million per season for five seasons. The five-year term, that source said, was a non-starter as far as the Caps were concerned, given the relatively short shelf life of NHL coaches and the fact that Trotz had already been in Washington for four seasons.

When it became clear that the sides weren’t going to close the considerable gap between their positions, Trotz offered to step down and the resignation was accepted, making the 55-year-old a free agent.

When “I got the [counteroffer], I guess I knew it was time to go in a different direction,” he said.

In New York, Trotz replaces Doug Weight, who was fired earlier this month along with GM Garth Snow. Lou Lamoriello, a longtime NHL executive, took over for Snow and immediately started a search for a new head coach.

Once Trotz became available, it didn’t take Lamoriello to zero in on the NHL's fifth all-time winningest coach. The two met, exchanged ideas and quickly realized that they had found a good fit in one another. Trotz said he's already reached out to the Islanders' star captain, John Tavares, who could become the biggest prize on the free agent market on July 1. 

And, like that, Trotz now is the coach of a Metropolitan Division foe. The Caps and Isles will face off four times next season, beginning with a Nov. 26meeting in New York.

It’ll be weird, for sure. But professional sports is a business. And all sides involved in the Trotz saga were served a painful reminder of that this week.

Asked if he felt wanted in Washington, Trotz said: “Well, I’ll leave that up to the Caps to answer that. I think, absolutely. We just won a cup together and so I don't think that was an issue. I think it was more principle.”

In the end, Trotz wanted to be compensated like one of the top coaches in the game. And now he will, settling in behind big market coaches such as Toronto’s Mike Babcock ($6.25 million per year), Chicago’s Joel Quenneville ($6 million) and Montreal’s Claude Julien ($5 million).

“It’s good to be wanted,” he said. “It happened really quickly because you go from one emotion of winning the cup to the next emotion of leaving the team that you just won the Cup with, and you have to make some quick decisions. I know the timing of it—end of the season, the draft coming up, free agency [and] all that—there was some urgency on that. Both parties knew that, so we went to work at it and got it done.”

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