Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
PROVO — Kyle Van Noy came to BYU from Reno after a star-studded senior year at McQueen High School that saw his Lancers win the Class 4A state title in Nevada's Mackay Stadium.
After four years in Provo, the senior returns to the scene of the crime -- but the main difference isn't the football-playing Van Noy.
"I can't even get the words to say how different I am," Van Noy said after practice Monday evening. "I'm just a different person, and that's the most important thing to me; not only on the field, but off the field as well. I have a totally different perspective on life. That's a lot better, for sure."
The Cougars (7-4) will look to defend against the home field of a Nevada (4-7, 3-5 Mountain West) team ineligible for the postseason for the first time since 2004. But the Wolfpack won't be the only ones relying on a little home cooking. Van Noy, who leads the defense with an assorted 58 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, four sacks, two interceptions and a pair of fumbles, plans to see at least 400 people from his hometown in the stands Saturday afternoon.
"It's always good to go home to a home-cooked meal before the game," he added. "It's going to be fun playing at a place I'm familiar with. I've been looking forward to it a little bit."
BYU will hope to right the ship after a 23-13 loss at Notre Dame. But there were plenty of positives to take from the humbling defeat in South Bend, Ind. Defensive back Robertson Daniel was given an IV before the game but still played, and freshman Mike Davis filled in admirably -- seeing action in only his seventh collegiate game.
"Mike played good. Mike is super talented, but we pulled him over and he's never played corner in his life," defensive coordinator Nick Howell said of Davis, who has 11 tackles and a tackle for loss. "He's ready to play, and I think ready to play a bigger role. I'm glad we found that out."
Among the long list of injured players, Spencer Hadley and Mike Hague are still listed as day-to-day on the defensive side of the ball. Davis' readiness as a first-year player will make it easier on Howell and Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall.
"He came in and did really well, and that's a major bonus on him," Howell said.
BYU added offensive lineman Brock Stringham to the injury list, and announced his season is over. The junior from Highlands Ranch, Colo. will have surgery to fix a torn labrum, ending his season.
You can listen to post-practice audio from Kyle Van Noy, Nick Howell, Mike Hague, De'Ondre Wesley and Jason Beck by clicking on the links in "Cougar Cuts," above left.
Sean Walker is a KSL Newsradio BYU intern.