This was a brave new world compared with Brown's Faustian sophomore year, when the game plan was Pinkett, Pinkett, Pinkett and Punt-it. "They were really, really trying to get [Allen] Pinkett the Heisman," Brown told The Dallas Morning News. "They were giving him the ball 40 times a game. I didn't like it. Pinkett didn't like it himself."
The Faust Years were worrisome. Indeed, the sight of Brown crying after a pass hit him in the numbers and bounced into a defender's arms in a bitter loss to LSU in 1985 reportedly convinced Faust it was time to resign.
"He was a good guy," Brown once said of Faust. "He just got in a little over his head." Or as teammate Wells put it one night, "I remember in the Penn State game, we were behind. We had to get a touchdown fast. Time was running out. And I was standing near Faust, and he's yelling, 'Hey, do we have a bomb play? We have a bomb play, don't we?' Can you imagine that—'Do we have a bomb play?' "
It's a given that Holtz knows a good bomb play or two; the question is whether any of his quarterbacks can throw one. And even if one could, would it be good enough to find Brown in triple coverage? "Tim Brown might end up being more valuable to us this year than last year, yet be less productive," says Holtz. "It's like he's going to have to learn a new role. He was a star in The Music Man. All right, now let's see how he does in Hamlet."
:07, :08, :09, :10
Now there's only one person left to juke: the lowly, shivering, eminently jukable kicker, who "just sort of dives at your feet," Brown says. When Brown is done with them, kickers sort of resemble hash marks. Which leaves pure Iced T versus any lemon trying to get an angle on him over the last 40 yards. Of course, as Miller says, "There's no such thing as an angle on T" You couldn't get an angle on Brown if you had a Phaser gun.
This is when Brown resumes hearing. "When I'm free, I hear all the yelling again," he says. "If you're at home, it's loud, but on the road it's just sort of an 'oooooh.' I get more relaxed. I'm back in second gear."
The sight of Brown gliding in for a 98-yard touchdown is the stuff of 11 p.m. sports highlight shows; sports highlight shows make Heismans these days, and Brown wants a Heisman.
"I figure if you're going to go through the whole thing about being a Heisman Trophy candidate, you might as well think in terms of winning the thing," he says.
Win it or not, Denver Broncos director of scouting Reed Johnson figures Brown will be one of the top four or five choices in next year's NFL draft, especially now that a new league rule penalizing out-of-bounds kicks will give the returner more room to do his stuff. All of which means that Brown stands to make a fortune very soon. "I'm going to buy a 928 Porsche for myself and a house for my mom," he says. "And then I'll probably just blow the rest."