Louisiana Native Expects Tougher Test From Tech

Ryan Brown was, shall we say, dubious. Not to mention barely awake when p.r. director Bill Martin’s call came. “I was really just getting up, and I was like this can’t be… My Dad called and was like ‘I’m hearing good things’. I kept on getting text messages and was oh, this really happened.”

Really. The Bulldog defensive end really is the SEC’s Defensive Lineman of the Week. After a seven tackle day against Troy, with half his stops for losses including a sack, Brown was tabbed by the league office for the weekly award.

“I’m really blessed for this,” Brown said. “The first thing I did was praise God’s favor, because a lot of people had great games.”

That’s a fact. Mississippi State’s defensive line was the true tone-setter in whipping Troy 45-17. With the Dogs up front blowing apart blocking, either they or supporting cast spent much of Saturday afternoon in the Trojan backfield. The visitors ran 82 offensive snaps and 15 of them ended with losses.

Their best showing of 2015? “Without a doubt,” Brown said. “Since I’ve been here that was the most ‘champion’ grades we’ve received as a d-line. That speaks volumes in itself.”

Brown was actually slightly surprised his fellow defensive end A.J. Jefferson did not get the award. Jefferson had as many tackles, if fewer for losses. More to the point Jefferson owns a higher-profile around the league with a knack for the highlight sort of play.

But Jefferson was gracious. He can afford to be, with 33 tackles on the season so far, 10.5 of them for losses with 4.0 sacks. Brown has 26 and 5.5 and half as many sacks.

“A.J. is having a record-breaking season,” Brown said. “He was probably the first person to tell me congratulations. We’re roommates so we give each other that type of edge. I’m pretty sure he’s it (SEC DLotW) either next week or the week after, so we’re going to continue to compete.”

The competition this week should be stronger. Louisiana Tech (4-2) is a Conference USA contender, and a program not shy to live in the SEC’s shadow. Brown more than most knows this will be a challenge; he’s a New Orleans native after all, and knows a goodly share of the Tech roster.

“We’re playing a better team, a more game-ready type of team that’s ready to shake up the SEC,” said Brown. Plus, “I know a lot of those coaches, the head coach (Skip Holtz) actually recruited me at South Florida and I committed to them.”

Now Brown and cohorts are committed to maintaining the level of line-play shown against Tech. Kickoff on Scott Field is 11:00 for the SEC Network.

Gene's Page Top Stories