AROUND THE SUPER BOWL — The New England Patriots put the hurt on quarterback Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams in a 13-3 win in Super Bowl LIII.
Former BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy was at the center of that hurt.
Van Noy finished with three defensive tackles, three quarterback hurries, a sack and a special teams tackle in the Reno, Nevada, native’s third-straight Super Bowl.
Van Noy won his second Super Bowl title in his third season with the Patriots, all of which ended in the NFL’s season finale.
We don't have any stars on our team, but we've got elite football players," Van Noy told the NFL Network's Steve Wyche after the game. "That's all that matters. World champs again, baby. It feels good."
After the Patriots took a 3-0 lead through Stephen Gostkowski’s 42-yard field goal in the second quarter, former Utah State wide receiver JoJo Natson returned the ensuing kickoff 27 yards from the Rams’ 1-yard line.
It was the first significant touch for a player who prepped or played college football in the state of Utah.
But it was Van Noy and the Patriot defense that stole the show in the first half, shutting out the Rams en route to a 3-0 halftime lead.
Van Noy had a 14-yard sack on Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff, his only tackle of the opening half — but well worth it. Ten different Patriots tallied at least one tackle, including two sacks, helping New England out-gain the Rams 204 yards to 77 before the break.
The Patriots' defense sacked Goff three times, including a touchdown-saving drop by Dont’a Hightower that led to a game-tying field goal in the third quarter.
Los Angeles' primary return specialist, Natson finished with three total returns, including a two punt returns for 12 yards in the Rams’ loss.
Not bad for a guy who was living out of a duffle bag and suitcase for two months before signing with the Rams just before the start of the 2018 NFL season, as mentioned by Rams team reporter Sarina Morales.
Inactive members of Super Bowl rosters include J.J. Dielman, the former Utah offensive lineman who is on the Rams’ practice squad; former Utah cornerback Dominique Hatfield, who is on injured reserve with Los Angeles following a clavicle injury the first week of December; ex-Utah defensive back Eric Rowe, who was placed on the IR in November after playing four games with the Patriots.
Former BYU offensive lineman Ryker Mathews is a member of the Patriots’ roster, having signed a reserves/future contract Jan. 14.
Former KSL TV broadcaster Jim Nantz called his third Super Bowl from the booth, and the first with former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Nantz, who worked for KSL TV from 1982-85 and called BYU football and Utah Jazz games, has been the lead play-by-play broadcaster with CBS since 2004, a role that has also included spots on the NFL on CBS, The NFL Today, and Thursday Night Football, among other duties.
Gladys Knight, the R&B recording superstar, sang the national anthem prior to kickoff. Knight, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and makes frequent appearances in Salt Lake City, belted a stunning rendition of the anthem that lasted just over two minutes — or “over,” according to certain spots in Southern Nevada.
Sam Gordon, the Salt Lake native who took the nation by storm as a 9-year-old running back that helped start the Utah Girls Tackle Football League, also made a Super Bowl appearance, in the league-produced advertisement, “The 100-Year Game.”