Trevon Brown might be listed as a true freshman, but on Saturday the Pirates rookie looked like a trusted vet. Making his first career start, Brown pulled in five passes for a game-high 117 yards and two touchdowns to spark East Carolina’s 70-41 romp over rival North Carolina.
“He had a great game,” ECU quarterback Shane Carden said. “He’s a great kid and he works really hard. He’s a true athlete, and when you get an athlete that works hard like he does, things like that can happen.”
Brown was thrust into the starting lineup in place of senior wide receiver Cam Worthy, who was suspended for two games for what ECU called a “school student code violation.”
Worthy was last week’s breakout star, catching six passes for 224 yards during the Pirates 28-21 victory over then-ranked No. 17 Virginia Tech.
This week it was Brown’s turn, as the 6-2, 206 freshman showed he’s more than just a big body.
Brown didn’t wait long to impact the game as he caught a 56-yard touchdown pass on a post pattern to put the Pirates (3-1, 0-0 AAC) up 7-0 over UNC (2-1, 0-0 ACC) on the game’s first possession.
Brown’s second TD of the game was even more impressive, and equally critical. With the Pirates trailing 20-14 midway through the second quarter, Brown caught a Carden pass as Brown sprinted across the field from left to right, then cut back to his left and raced toward the sideline. With UNC linebacker Malik Simmons approaching, Brown screamed toward the pylon, tucked his left toe into the turf along the sideline and stretched the ball out across the goal line to complete a 26-yard touchdown pass. The score brought the Dowdy-Ficklen-record crowd of 51,082 fans to their feet. The play, initially ruled a touchdown, held up under review and proved to be the final lead change of the game.
Brown, who was barred from the media after the game because he is in what East Carolina calls the “freshman acclimation period,” impressed his senior quarterback.
“He’s got it all,” Carden said. “He kind of reminds me of (Justin) Hardy when he first got here. He’s got route running, he’s got the ball skills and he’s got the speed. He’s done a great job of getting the ball and getting some yards after the catch. I’m looking forward to watching him in the next couple of weekends.”