PROVO ‐ Physically sick and emotionally humbled, BYU's leader — but, not captain — Kyle Van Noy slowed the offensive stampede that was the Texas offense.
The Longhorns racked up a school record 715 total yards in their first game of the season en route to a 57-7 victory over New Mexico State. Van Noy's Cougars were suffering a devastating loss the previous week to ACC cellar-dweller Virginia.
"I just want to apologize to everybody, even my teammates. I felt I didn't play the way I play. I felt disgusted," Van Noy told Greg Wrubell, as he remembered the season-opening loss to the Cavaliers, on the Cougar post game show on KSL Newsradio.
Redemption was just a week away with Van Noy serving as a one-man wrecking crew. He battered and bruised quarterback David Ash and the dynamic Longhorn offense.
"We got after that guy," Van Noy said. "Oh man, that was so fun. We got a lot of hits on the quarterback. That's the difference defensively. We got him rattled, I don't think he's ever been hit like that — we brought it and we need to bring it like that every night. It was just so fun, I'm just pumped right now."
Van Noy had just a single sack, but four hurries and eight tackles. The hurries don't adequately describe the deluge of destruction that passed over LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Van Noy's torrential pursuit of anything in burnt orange received the same treatment — a thunderous introduction to the turf.
"It was almost magical," Van Noy said. "To be able to be on the field with guys that you work so hard and then to only have 12 chances — and if you get the opportunity you get 13 — to be able to play. I just felt like I needed to contribute more."
Van Noy had a solid game against Virginia, registering four tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup, but those numbers fell short of his expectations.
"I needed to look at myself in the mirror and I did that a lot. I did a lot of soul searching and I didn't want that happening again," he said.
For the first time since 1998 — against Arizona St. — BYU beat a ranked non-conference team at home.
Van Noy sensed that Texas was brimming with confidence. "I think they came in with the thought that they were going to roll, that they were going to win. We brought it tonight and we got after that quarterback."
BYU leads the all-time series against Texas 3-1, and Van Noy is elated to be a part of the historic win.
"We're a physical, fast and smart defense and I'm just happy that I could be a part of it and play with the guys that I'm playing with."
Playing one final year with his college teammates was a big reason for Van Noy returning for his senior year, instead of moving on to the NFL.
"We're like brothers, we're like family," Van Noy said. "We yell at each other, we don't like each other sometimes, then we tell each other we love them. That's what it is all about and we have fun with it and it shows every single week and for the last three years since I've been here."