Andre Brown’s first NFL touchdown is one New York Giants fans may remember for a long time.
The former N.C. State and Greenville Rose running back capped a memorable comeback Sunday by the reigning Super Bowl champs in a 41-34 win over visiting Tampa Bay.
Subbing for injured starter Ahmad Bradshaw, the 25-year-old Brown rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries and caught two passes for 19 yards.
Brown’s 2-yard TD run with 31 seconds left was the winning score but only after the underdog Bucs had raced to a 24-13 halftime lead.
Once the top-rated running back prospect in the state, Brown was injured much of the time during his college career. He wound up with 2,539 yards on 523 rushes in four seasons with the Wolfpack.
After going in the fourth round of the 2009 season to the Giants, Brown had brief stints with Denver, Indianapolis, Carolina and Washington before rejoining the Giants last season.
But until Sunday, Brown’s pro career had amounted to a couple of carries for no yardage.
During post-game interviews, the 6-foot, 225-pounder told reporters he expected to spend the afternoon concentrating on his special teams assignments.
“Ya’ll know my story,” he said. “Went active, inactive, cut 18 million times. And to finally get an opportunity like this, I’m playing this role like I’m chill right now, but you don’t know, man. I’m just excited.”
After the game, Brown needed IV fluids.
With Bradshaw out with a neck injury and Brown getting most of the carriers, Giants rookie David Wilson, last season’s ACC player of the year at Virginia Tech, got in for three rushes for six yards.
While Brown’s touchdown capped the Giants rally, the most important yardage producer other than quarterback Eli Manning was former UNC wide receiver Hakeem Nicks with 10 catches for 199 yards and a 23-yard TD.
The Gaints (1-1) have a quick turn-around with a Thursday 8:20 p.m. game in Charlotte against the Panthers (1-1). Bradshaw’s status for that game probably won’t be determined until Tuesday or Wednesday.