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Troy Brown continues to lead Central Michigan defense to success


Central Michigan linebacker Troy Brown intercepts a pass against Bowling Green Oct. 19 Doyt L. Perry Stadium in Bowling Green.

Ball State's quarterback Drew Plitt dropped back with just over 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. 

Plitt fired the ball to advance it and put the Cardinals into a position to defeat Central Michigan after the Chippewas had just scored to take a 45-44 lead with 1:01 to play at Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, Indiana. 

Central Michigan needed to make a defensive stand on fourth down to keep pace in the Mid-American Conference West Division race. 

Troy Brown was the provider of that much-needed stop.

Brown, a redshirt sophomore linebacker, stepped underneath the route Plitt was looking for and secured his team-leading third interception of the season.

The interception put the icing on the cake for Central Michigan to stay in the MAC West hunt.

Brown said that he was able to make the play by making a read and getting help via intense pressure from his teammates on the defensive line.

“Really I was just dropping back because I knew (Plitt) needed to take a shot, I knew he needed to gain some yards,” Brown said. “I looked through (running back Caleb Huntley). He came in, (and) I knew (wide receiver Antwan Davis) was going to come behind me probably for a dig or a post."

Brown understands all the different types of wide receiver routes. He came to Central Michigan as a cornerback from Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint.

Defensive coordinator Robb Akey said that Brown, along with the rest of the defense, has grown exponentially from when the coach arrived in January.

"Troy is a competitive son of a gun," Akey said. "He finds ways and makes plays, he has a nose for the ball and when it's nut cutting time, he's gonna cut some nuts and make things happen." 

With one game remaining for Central Michigan this season, Brown has  74 total tackles, of which 64 are solo tackles. 

He has 13 tackles for loss for 33 yards, and he has made plays with two pass breakups, a team-leading three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

After Central Michigan's victory over New Mexico State on Oct. 12, Brown said the team was heading in the right direction.

"We want to come out with our goals of being MAC champions someday," Brown said. "Winning puts us in a good headspace to say, 'We like how this feels,' as opposed to going 1-11. 

"We like the way it feels, and it pushes you to continue to have that feeling to do better."

Looking back on it, Brown clearly knew what he was talking about.

The Chippewas, at 7-5 overall and 5-2 in the conference, are one win away from winning the MAC West title and securing a spot in the MAC championship game at Ford Field.