Reed looking to regain hot hand for Spartans
San Jose State junior QB is coming off a rough month
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
Dick Tomey remembers his first meeting with quarterback Kyle Reed like it was yesterday.
Tomey had just been hired as San Jose State’s new football coach, and he was in the midst of his first recruiting class when his travels brought him to McClymonds High School in Oakland in 2004.
“I met Kyle when I went there to recruit somebody else on Coach (Alonzo) Carter’s team,” Tomey said. “Kyle had already decided to go to Cal before we even started recruiting (that year). He was on everybody’s list.”
While Tomey was in Carter’s office, his cell phone went off.
“The ring tone was something from the ’70s or ’80s,” said the 70-year-old Tomey. “Kyle says to me, ‘Coach, that’s not cool’. He went through and changed the ring tone. I was back on campus, the phone rings and the tone was as hip as I am not. That was our first experience together.”
As things sometimes happen in the world of college athletics, Reed decided to leave Cal after one redshirt year and one year of no action. That’s not surprising considering Nate Longshore was already there and the Golden Bears were courting Kevin Riley for their 2006 class.
“I really had a great relationship with Coach (Jeff) Tedford,” Reed said. “He didn’t badger you and tell you what to do. It just didn’t work out. It was going to be a playing time issue.”
And, as luck would have it, he did know the way to San Jose.
Reed is a big reason why the Spartans are 6-4 (3-2 in the Western Athletic Conference) heading into Saturday’s showdown against Nevada at Mackay Stadium. The junior quarterback has thrown for 1,348 yards and seven scores.
Success didn’t come easily at SJSU, either. After sitting out the 2007 season because of his transfer, Reed broke his foot in the off-season in a non-contact drill and missed basically all of spring practice.
“It was about a four- or five-month process,” Reed said. “It took a while to be able to be able to cut the way I used to. It was a pretty long process physically and mentally.”
By the time Reed was healed up, it was time to start fall camp, and he never could quite catch up to Myles Eden.
Reed’s role as a backup didn’t last long ” one game to be exact.
Trailing 10-0, Reed led the Spartans to a 13-10 come-from-behind win in the season-opener against UC Davis, completing 14-of-18 passes for 132 yards. He engineered a 68-yard scoring drive for the winning points.
Not bad for a guy that hadn’t played a down in more than three years.
That was the start of an unbelievable five-week stretch for the Spartans star where he would complete 71 percent of his throws while leading SJSU to wins over San Diego State, Hawaii and Utah State. He also put up good numbers in losing efforts to Nebraska and Stanford.
– In a loss to Nebraska, Reed went 20-of-28 for 187 yards.
– A week later, Reed went 20-of-25 for 178 yards and three scores in a win over San Diego State.
– Against Stanford, Reed completed his first 15 passes en route to a 23-for-26 effort for 1,265 yards.
– In a huge road win over Hawaii, Reed went 14-for-28 for 152 yards and two touchdowns.
“His best game was against Hawaii,” Tomey said. “In a hostile environment, he didn’t turn the ball over and he managed the offense real well.”
– His biggest output came the following game when he passed for 300 yards, completing 28-of-40 passes , in a win over Utah State.
All good things usually come to en end, and Reed has fallen on hard times in the last month.
He went 8-for-18 and three interceptions in a win over New Mexico State and was 16-for-29 for 105 yards in a loss to Boise State. He also suffered an injury to his tailbone which kept him out of the win over Idaho. He was 4-for-14 for 72 yards in a 21-0 loss to Louisiana Tech.
“I’m pleased with what he’s done,” Tomey said. “It was unrealistic to think that he would complete 80 percent of his passes. It’s not what the position requires. It was unrealistic to think he was going to start as quickly as he did. What he did was an added bonus.
“Part of our problem lately is we’re not blocking people well. We got whipped up front by Louisiana Tech.”
The one thing that stands out is the lack of yardage, save for the Utah State game. Tomey said it’s more about Reed’s decision-making capabilities than his arm strength.
“You look at the defense and make a decision where to throw the ball,” Tomey said. “He’s probably been picking the easier throw. There is nothing wrong with that.”
Certainly not. Taking care of the ball is the primary objective of any offense, and Spartan teams are known for not beating themselves with a lot of turnovers.
Reed says he is healthy and he knows the huge task ahead of his offense and team tomorrow.
“Right now I feel great,” said Reed, who suffered his injury on a late hit out of bounds. “I did a lot of rehab the week of the Idaho game. Nevada’s defense is very strong. They are No. 1 against the run. We have two games that are must wins for us. I feel our team is more than capable of pulling these wins (Nevada and Fresno State) off.”
Only if Reed can return to the form he displayed the first six weeks of the season.
– Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or (775) 881-1281
THE REED FILE
Year in school: Junior