Arkansas State (1-2) led 10-0 after two possessions, trailed 20-10 and regained the lead at 24-23 with 5:24 left in the third quarter. The Red Wolves made it 27-23 on Josh Arauco's second field goal with 12:17 left.
But an 8-yard pass from Brown to Cornelius Williams with 7:53 to go, set up by a fumbled punt recovery, gave the Trojans (2-2) a 30-27 lead, which stood up.
The Red Wolves? Reggie Arnold scored on a pair of 1-yard runs. Arkansas State also got a 58-yard scoring pass from Corey Leonard to Brandon Thompkins.
DeJuan Harris scored on a 9-yard run for Troy, and Sam Glusman kicked three field goals.