Miles Reed, who offers a mix of power and speed, has steadily settled into the role of lead back. Read more
On a night when quarterback Chevan Cordeiro assumed the role of top leading man, there was still plenty of room for a best supporting character.
Enter running back Miles Reed, who ably acted the part of trusty sidekick in Hawaii’s 42-40 win over San Jose State on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
Cordeiro, of course, received the bulk of the attention postgame after getting the nod to start over incumbent Cole McDonald for the first time all season, throwing for three touchdowns and running for two more.
“Chevan gets my props tonight, he’s definitely MVP,” Reed said of the redshirt freshman.
When it came time to discuss his own accolades — Reed carried the ball 17 times for a 124 yards and a touchdown, exceeding his previous bests of 16 carries and 97 yards in a 45-31 win at New Mexico two weeks prior — the 5-foot-8 sophomore back didn’t have much to say. Even on a rare night of a UH running back reaching the century mark in the run-and-shoot offense.
“Yeah, I mean, nothing I do comes without the guys up front,” Reed said. “Honestly, the group of five up front, they deserve all the credit. They open up holes. They cut off defenses when they’re trying to move. What they do goes beyond what’s actually seen on film. Going back and talking about it on Mondays and Tuesdays, we really see that these guys are really putting in work, and they’re blocking, pass (protecting) 30, 40 times a game. And run blocking 30, 40 as well. These guys are really working their butt off up front and they’re just really fighting through a lot of adversity. I owe it all to them.”
And they a lot to him. All the contributions of “Bam Bam,” as Reed is nicknamed, were important as neither team blinked on offense. No one punted.
Reed, who offers a mix of power and speed, has steadily settled into the role of lead back since senior Dayton Furuta went out with an injury in the opener against Arizona. He became the first running back to go over 100 this season, but it was actually the third straight game UH rolled up 200-plus yards on the ground.
“When they know that we’ve got a running back that can run for over 100 yards, plus our receivers, it puts a toll on the defense,” receiver JoJo Ward said. “Miles, you know he’s a hard worker, you know he can run the ball real hard. He’s all in for the team. When we can’t be stopped by running the ball and throwing the ball, we’re unstoppable.”
Reed punched in a 4-yard touchdown with 2:37 left in the first half for a 21-20 lead, but went for dinks and chunks the rest of the night, picking up 31 on a carry in the third and 28 on one in the fourth.
Coach Nick Rolovich wouldn’t have been surprised by what Reed said of his role in the offense on Saturday.
“Yes, he’s got quick feet. Yes, he’s got toughness that exceeds his physical stature. But the energy and love he … I mean, he’s inspiring when he runs, just by his body language,” Rolovich said.
“Very unselfish player. If you ask him to drop back in protection 40 times, he’ll do it. If you ask him to run the ball between the tackles 30 times, he’ll do it. The guy loves his teammates.”
For some perspective on where he is now from where he was, Reed totaled 30 carries last year for 172 yards and two scores.
Hawaii is on track for a Hawaii Bowl berth in improving to 6-4 (3-3 Mountain West).
“This 1-0 every week mentality is kind of getting us (going),” Reed said. “I think if we focus on that … we’ll get to where we want to get to.”
Much like Reed on Saturday night.