Bulls ride the Reed op­tion

First win of sea­son comes in home opener Sopho­more emerges, runs for 120 yards

The Buffalo News - - NFL SUNDAY - By Amy Moritz

Em­manuel Reed is used to play­ing be­hind other run­ning backs.

For two years in high school he played be­hind his older brother, Micah. Once he came to the Univer­sity at Buf­falo, he once again found him­self be­hind older tal­ent, first in 1,000-yard ca­reer rusher Jor­dan John­son and now sec­ond on the depth chart to ju­nior Johnathan Hawkins.

But pa­tience has never been a prob­lem for Reed.

He waited his turn and took ad­van­tage of his op­por­tu­nity to shine. Satur­day night he rushed for a ca­reer-high 120 yards and scored his first ca­reer touch­down as the Bulls de­feated Col­gate, 3310, at UB Sta­dium.

“When you’ve got great run­ning backs like Jor­dan John­son, you ac­cept you have to wait be­cause he’s a great run­ning back and he taught us a lot last year,” said Reed, a sopho­more from Crestview, Fla., who red­shirted his fresh­man year. “I’ve been wait­ing three years for this.

“I al­ways played be­hind another good run­ning back. So it’s not re­ally a big deal for me,” Reed said. “When I get in, I just try to pro­vide a lit­tle spark to the of­fense.” A spark he was in­deed. Reed, who played in just three games as a re­serve run­ning back last sea­son, was con­sis­tent in his 22 car­ries and scored his first ca­reer touch­down, a 10yard run with 48 sec­onds left in the first quar­ter.

It was an op­por­tu­nity not just for Reed but for the coach­ing staff to use him ef­fec­tively. In the first two games,

coach Lance Leipold said they strug­gled to get the right bal­ance be­tween Reed and Hawkins. In Satur­day’s win, Reed made a strong case for more car­ries.

“If any­one saw any of our scrim­mages in fall camp, he showed this type of abil­ity,” Leipold said. “… To see his quick­ness and his phys­i­cal­ity is great to see. He’s def­i­nitely go­ing to help our foot­ball team.”

“He can cre­ate some­thing be­cause he’s a lit­tler back,” UB quar­ter­back Tyree Jack­son said. “He gets be­hind the line­men and he makes great cuts.”

Yes, Reed is a “lit­tler back.” But with his speed, Reed sees his height, listed at 5-8 (which may be true in cleats) as an ad­van­tage.

“Yeah like I’m only 5 foot 6 and our of­fen­sive line­men that block me is like 6-4 so I get lost in there a lit­tle bit,” Reed said. “But it’s def­i­nitely a great ad­van­tage to have.”

That line re­ceived plenty of praise from Reed and Jack­son as the Bulls broke out of­fen­sively. UB racked up 486 to­tal yards with 303 of those com­ing on the ground.

Reed’s 120 rush­ing yards led the Bulls fol­lowed by Jack­son, who rushed for his own ca­reer-high 97 yards and one touch­down, tak­ing full ad­van­tage of the quar­ter­back op­tion.

“Any­thing coaches call, I trust in,” Jack­son said. “We’re go­ing to try to ex­e­cute it. So if it has me run­ning the ball, then that’s what we’re go­ing to have to do. I feel like the re­ceivers played well and that soft­ened the box and let us be able to run the ball.”

The first five plays of the game for UB were run­ning plays. As the Bulls es­tab­lished the ground game, it opened up the op­por­tu­nity for some big-gain pass­ing plays.

Jack­son con­nected with Tyler Mabry for a 58-yard gain, An­thony John­son for a 46-yard gain, and KJ Os­born for a 25-yard play.

“We were go­ing to em­pha­size the run-game early and es­tab­lish the line of scrim­mage, try to get that go­ing a lit­tle bit,” Leipold said. “You look at our first two games we gen­er­ated big plays through the air but we never ever got the run­ning game con­sis­tently go­ing. And to see us be able to me­thod­i­cally move down the field was re­ally a plea­sure to see.”

Derek Gee/Buf­falo News

UB run­ning back Em­manuel Reed scores his first ca­reer touch­down as the Bulls roll to a 33-10 vic­tory over Col­gate.

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