'Money Man': Joe Reed making opponents pay on kickoffs

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Joe Reed proved to opponents once again Saturday that he is a threat on every kickoff, but no one seems to know the answer to one question: why do opponents continue to kick to the senior return man?

"I don't know, but I ain't going to tell them to stop," Virginia senior quarterback Bryce Perkins said, "They can keep kicking it to him for all I care."

Reed's 95-yard touchdown return in the third quarter was his fifth career kickoff return for touchdown, which just extended his school record. The touchdown also tied him for ninth most in NCAA history -- just two behind the NCAA record held by four different players -- and moved him into a tie for third most in ACC history.

"He's the money man, so every time he touches the rock, we're like he's gone," Perkins added, "If they kick it and it's past that white line, he's gone, he's going to return it to at least the 35 (yard line), if it's past the 40 he's gone."

The senior return man also made NCAA history earlier in the game against Duke, becoming the only player in FBS history to record 2,700-plus kickoff return yards and average more than 28 yards per return. Reed currently leads the country in yards per kickoff return of players with at least 10 or more returns this season.

Bronco Mendenhall was quick to point out after the game, even if Reed does not reach the endzone he is still putting the Wahoos in great field position.

"If you choose to kick to him then there is risk and tonight on two kicks, not only the touchdown, but the one earlier, man did that set the tone," Mendenhall said, "Our team actually expects it, they're surprised any time he gets tackled close to the 50."

Reed's return skills have drawn national attention in recent weeks, being named a first-team Midseason All-American as a returner by CBS Sports last week. But even with all the hype, the Cavaliers all-time kickoff return yardage leader does not have an answer to why teams take their chances with him.

"I am surprised now, after today I will be surprised they still kick to me," Reed said, "But like I told you on Monday we're still in the ACC playing great teams, so if they do kick it to me, I'll be thankful for the opportunity."

During the win over Duke, Reed also became the ninth Cavalier to cross the 4,000 yard mark in career all-purpose yards. Reed joins the likes of Olamide Zaccheaus, Tiki Barber, Thomas Jones among others in that category.



 
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