Running back Allen Smith ’22 helped lead the Bears to victory over Columbia Saturday, rushing 13 times for 113 yards, his second 100-yard rushing game of the season. Smith had two touchdown runs of five and 70 yards, respectively, to help secure Bruno’s first conference victory in three years. His 70-yard touchdown gallop was the third longest carry in the league this season. Smith led Bruno in rushing with 171 yards on 41 carries his rookie season before three broken ribs put him out for the remainder of the year.
He came back strong this season, leading the team with eight rushing touchdowns. He is second on the team in yards gained at 522. For his efforts against the Lions, Smith has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.
Herald: What has it been like playing under two different head coaches in two years?
Smith: It was difficult, because being recruited by (Former Head Coach Phil Estes) was a big reason that I chose to come to Brown. To have him leave almost immediately after I came created a lot of questions about what was coming next. Looking back, it was something that needed to happen. It was frustrating under the circumstances —that I committed to Brown because of the old coach — but this year has been fun. It’s been a time of adversity and we’re all embracing the challenge. We have fun with (Head Coach James Perry ’00) and his staff. He brought some great guys with him and has been embracing a culture that we’ve completely bought into. That culture is the reason we’ve begun to find more and more success this year. All these guys want to win, (and) we’ve worked our butts off. We know we’re going to do what we have to do, and we’re going to do it at a million miles per hour, no matter what else is going on.
What was the most challenging part of the game against Columbia?
Pretty much the whole second quarter. The offense scored 21 points in the first quarter, and then we were struggling offensively for a few drives, and it seemed like Columbia might have a comeback. Those drives at the end of the first half were where we really could have taken the game out of their reach, but we just weren’t scoring.
Besides last weekend, what has been your favorite game this season?
I have to go with Harvard. It was a Friday night game which is always super cool. I’d never actually played in (Harvard Stadium). Plus, that was a nationally televised game on ESPN — you’re always going to be up when you’re on national television.
You broke three ribs at the end of last season. How did that impact your transition into this year?
I’ll be honest, at first it really got me down. I kept thinking about how right as my season is starting, and I’m beginning to get real playing time, I get hurt. But I didn’t stay down. I committed myself to getting healthy. I decided I was just going to train my butt off and use getting hurt as motivation to become stronger and prove myself. I wanted to be able to put everything out there for my team.
If you had to switch positions, what would you play instead of running back?
I played a lot of defense in high school — I was a strong safety. I really like hitting people, so that was always fun (and) I miss that. Either strong safety, or quarterback, because they’re in command of the game.
What’s your prediction for this year’s Super Bowl matchup?
The Pittsburgh Steelers are my favorite team, but even though they’re in our division, I have to say the Baltimore Ravens are looking really good. I’d say probably Baltimore and (the San Francisco 49ers).
You say in your Brown Athletics bio that you enjoy playing video games. What have you been playing this season?
Right now, I’ve been grinding Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but my all-time favorite is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Modern Warfare 2 changed the multiplayer experience from version one. The style people played in saw a huge shift. A while ago I also thought I was going to be a Twitch streamer on Fortnite. It only lasted for a little bit, but I was streaming on Twitch for a while.
What are you concentrating in and what do you want to do after Brown?
I’m BEO-Econ, and I’ve always wanted to start my own business and be an entrepreneur.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.