New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe likes to remind teammate Kyle Van Noy that Utah went 4-0 against BYU in Van Noy’s four seasons as a Cougars linebacker, with Rowe playing for the Utes in three of those games.
But they’re good friends and allies on New England’s defense in the Super Bowl. Rowe and Van Noy played in New England’s victory over Atlanta last February in Houston after joining the Patriots via trades last season. They became the fifth set of NFL teammates from Utah and BYU to win a championship as members of the game-day active roster for the Super Bowl.
And they’re back in the Feb. 4 game in Minneapolis to face Philadelphia. They played key roles in the Patriots’ 24-20 defeat of Jacksonville in the AFC championship game. Van Noy was New England’s co-leader with nine tackles (including a sack) and Rowe had four tackles and a pass deflection. Van Noy played 69 of the Patriots’ 74 defensive snaps; Rowe was on the field for 46 plays in various packages.
The intermittent run of Utah/BYU joint forces as Super Bowl champs began with the San Francisco 49ers in January 1985. It happened again with San Francisco, followed by Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New England.
Here’s the list:
Super Bowl XIX • San Francisco’s roster included running back Carl Monroe of Utah and running back Bill Ring, defensive back Tom Holmoe and linebacker Todd Shell of BYU. The 49ers beat Miami 38-16.
Super Bowl XXIII • Running back Del Rodgers of Utah and BYU’s Holmoe and Young dressed for the 49ers in a 20-16 win over Cincinnati.
Super Bowl XLIII • Offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu of Utah and defensive lineman Brett Keisel and Chris Hoke of BYU played for Pittsburgh in a 27-23 defeat of Arizona.
Super Bowl XLIII • Defensive linemen Ma’ake Kemoeatu (Chris’ brother) and Paul Kruger and receiver David Reed of Utah and tight end Dennis Pitta of BYU played in Baltimore’s 34-31 victory over San Francisco.
Super Bowl LI • Rowe and Van Noy contributed to the Patriots’ 34-28 overtime win over Atlanta.