Kyle Reed had been waiting years to prove himself at the college level.
On Saturday, at the worst possible time for UC Davis, he did.
On fourth and 13 with eight seconds remaining, the junior quarterback and University of California transfer found Kevin Jurovich for a 17-yard touchdown pass, rallying San Jose State past UC Davis 13-10 in front of 18,730 fans at Spartan Stadium.
Reed was the third San Jose State quarterback to appear in the game, entering on the second series of the third quarter. He completed 14 of 18 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for a team-high 41 yards.
“I think the performance of Kyle Reed was just a storybook,” San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey said. “He hadn’t played in a game in four years. He did what you are supposed to do when you come in and it’s there for you. You need to make plays and he made them with his feet and his arm.”
Save Reed’s late game theatrics, UC Davis was in control throughout Saturday’s season opener, beginning on the team’s first drive of the game.
Aggies quarterback Danny Alfaro found Bakari Grant on a short screen pass, and the junior wide receiver sprinted past Spartan defenders for a 54-yard touchdown.
“It’s always good to come out with a big first play,” said Grant, who finished with eight catches and 104 yards for his third straight 100-yard game. “It all started with blocking, of course – great blocking. It was a clear field from there, so I give [the credit] to the linemen and the receivers that were helping out.”
Later in the quarter, UC Davis defensive end Steven Wulff intercepted Jordan La Secla and returned it 23 yards to the San Jose State 18-yard line. The Aggie offense then took over but had to settle for a 20-yard Sean Kelley field goal when it couldn’t score despite being at first and goal from the 6-yard line.
“It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t capitalize with another touchdown when we got down there,” UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs said. “We had to kick the field goal, and we just couldn’t knock the ball in there. That would have been the difference of the game if we had gone up 14 at that point.”
Along with the interception, Wulff had four tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery, earning him Great West Defensive Player of the Week.
UC Davis returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Central Arkansas. Kick-off is set for 4 p.m. PST.
J.T. O’Sullivan, UC Davis’ all-time passing leader, was seen watching the game from his alma mater’s sideline. He will be making his first NFL start on Sunday for the San Francisco 49ers when they host the Arizona Cardinals at 1:15 p.m.
MICHAEL GEHLKEN can be reached at email@example.com.