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A Big Day for DE Brown

At different times this season, co-ordinator Bud Foster has challenged his defense, calling for leadership after poor performances. When players have been asked who has stepped up, end Nekos Brown was often mentioned.

In a 48-14 win over Boston College on Saturday, Brown had perhaps his best performance of the season, his first as a starter. He was one of five players with a team-high four tackles and also had a sack and two quarterback hurries.

After the game, he said the players “took it to heart” when coaches told them that the players were the ones on the field, and that they were the ones who needed to take be accountable.

The coaches "don’t have to play; we do,” Brown said. “We took real big pride in that. We all rallied together.”

After working in on the defensive end rotation for the past two season, Brown, a senior, has done well in filling the big hole left by the departed Orion Martin, a second-team all-ACC selection last year. Before this season, he might have been better known as the son of Washington music legend Chuck Brown.

Brown’s showing Saturday was one example of his solid play this season. He has 23 tackles and two sacks. His 11 quarterback hurries are second most on the team, behind Jason Worilds’ 21.

The Hokies’ defense has struggled at times this season. Entering Saturday’s game, it had allowed 20 plays of 20 or more yards, accounting for 45.3 percent of the total yards the team had allowed this season. It had been the Hokies’ Achilles’ heel.

On Saturday, Boston College had just two gains of 20 or more yards, both of which came against Virginia Tech’s second- and third-team players with the game in hand in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had no rushing plays of more than 15 yards.

“We’ve got good seniors, and some of those guys are not the most-vocal guys,” Foster said. “But Nekos Brown stepped up big and Jason Worilds stepped up big. They’re going to listen to the guys that are your playmakers.”

By Mark Viera  |  October 12, 2009; 12:57 PM ET
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