Brown sets school record

Published 10:57 pm Saturday, October 24, 2009

For 41 years, Troy’s single game record for most passing yards was held by Sim Byrd, who set the record in a game against Samford with 454 yards.

For the last four games, Troy senior quarterback Levi Brown had been chasing that record, throwing for totals of 413, 355 and 391 yards in three of the Trojans’ last four contests.

However, Brown broke through and broke the record Saturday against North Texas in Troy’s 50-26 Homecoming blowout of North Texas, throwing for 469 yards. Brown went 27-44 and had one touchdown.

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Troy led late in the third quarter with Brown sitting on 430 yards.

“When I saw that stat come up on the video board, I told Coach Neal Brown I only needed like 15 more yards to break the record, and he didn’t really say anything about it,” Brown said.

Brown was granted one more shot at breaking the record, and trotted out to lead the Troy offense.

“We had already made a decision to bench him just to take care of him,” said head coach Larry Blakeney. “We were notified that he had a chance to break the record, and we gave him another series.”

Brown’s first pass on his final drive of the game fell incomplete. On his next pass, Brown found Austin Silvoy, who turned up field and turned the play into a 39-yard gain, giving Brown the record and sending him to the sideline for the remainder of the game.

Brown’s record-breaking effort was helped by an explosive element to the Troy passing attack, as Brown connected with Troy receivers for nine plays of 20 yards or more.

“We had an unusually amount of longer plays today,” Blakeney said. “We had as many explosive plays today as I can remember in an offensive football game.”

Byrd, whose performance against Samford now ranks second on the all-time list, offered his praises for Brown.

“I’m thrilled to death for Levi,” Byrd said. That’s excitement, and that’s what it’s all about. The young man is a great athlete, a great quarterback. He’s got great composure in the pocket and a super arm. He’s got all the talent.”

Blakeney also offered high praises for his senior signal caller.

“He transferred here, walked on and ran scout team against our defense, which ain’t no bowl of cherries,” Blakeney said. “Then, he comes out and competes like heck with Jamie Hampton and doesn’t quite get the decision, but he stays patient and he stays on his game and keeps doing the thing he knows would get him the job if anything happens, and sure enough, it happened. He’s been right on cue ever since.”

Byrd said he was not upset about losing the record.

“It’s one of those things where eventually, you’re records are going to be broken as time goes on,” Byrd said. “I was very fortunate to hold the record for 40-plus years.”

Byrd and Brown had never met before Saturday, when Byrd approached Brown after the game to congratulate him.

“Probably the coolest part of this whole thing was getting to meet Sim Byrd,” Brown said.

While Brown was excited about being the new record holder, he said he does not want to keep the record for as long as the 41 years that Byrd did.

“I hope Dan (Parker) or Jamie or somebody breaks it again next year,” Brown said.