ST. LOUIS –Illinois State (6-1, 3-1 MVFC) senior quarterback Matt Brown scored the game-winning touchdown and capped off a 21-point comeback for the Redbirds in a 35-28 come-from-behind victory over No. 8 Youngstown State Saturday. For his efforts, he was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Week by the league office Sunday.
The weekly honor is the second for Brown this season and the third in his illustrious four-year career at Illinois State. He previously earned the award, after he threw for 336 yards and a touchdown in a 34-31 road victory at South Dakota (Sept. 29) in week five.
The Marion, Ill., native bounced back from one of the worst performances of his career a week earlier against Southern Illinois and accounted for four touchdowns against the Penguins, including the game-winner with 2:44 left in the game. Brown finished the game with 225 yards passing, including three touchdowns through the air, and scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard quarterback sneak in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for ISU over YSU.
With his 225 yards passing, Brown surpassed the 9,000 yards passing plateau and now has 9,028 in his career. Brown sits just 61 yards behind UNI’s Ryan Helming (9,089) for the top spot on the Missouri Valley Football Conference all-time list.
Brown’s three touchdown passes marked the fourth time this season he has thrown for at least three touchdowns in a game. In addition, his eight-yard touchdown pass to Lechein Neblett in the second quarter gave him 63 in his career and sole-possession of the ISU career touchdown passes record. Brown added two more passing scores to finish the day with 65 career touchdown passes.
On the season, Brown has completed 62.2 of his passes and thrown for 1,807 yards and 14 touchdowns. Illinois State will cap off a three-game homestand Saturday, Oct. 20, against Missouri State. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Hancock Stadium.