Reid Gets Better Every Game

STILLWATER – A year ago Vince Young decided that he was not going to let the Texas Longhorns lose after they fell behind 28-9 to Oklahoma State. The Texas quarterback also led his team back from a 28-point deficit in 2004. But Young is now playing for the Tennessee Titans. Probably just as important is OSU will have Bobby Reid at quarterback when it faces the fourth-ranked Longhorns Saturday.

Reid was injured and did not play in the Longhorns' 47-28 victory a year ago, and was a redshirt freshman when Texas scored 49 consecutive points for a 56-35 win in 2004. But he has proven this season why he was one of the top high school quarterbacks in the nation when the Cowboys recruited him out of North Shore High School in Galena Park, Texas.

The 6-3, 230-pound sophomore has thrown for 1,616 yards (10th in the OSU record books with four more regular season games still to play) for 19 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He's the third-ranked passer in the nation with an efficiency of 177.35. In a stat called "points responsible for," Reid is eighth nationally at 16.5 points a game.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy – the most prolific passer in the history of the Big Eight Conference – knows a good quarterback when he sees one. In recent weeks he's been hesitant to say much about the improvement that Reid has shown this season, but the Cowboy head coach opened up a little more following his quarterback's performance in OSU's 41-29 victory over No. 20 Nebraska this past Saturday.

"On a scale of one to 10, he's about a six. Last year, he was about a two," Gundy said of Reid's play midway through the season. "The thing that Bobby's done for himself is he's handled a lot of adversity. That's just part of being a quarterback at this level. He doesn't bring distractions on to himself. If I just show up at the apartments to check rooms at 12 or 1 in the morning he's always in bed. Half those guys are up watching MTV and there are girls running around all over the place. But with him, he's asleep."

Nebraska Cornhusker fans were probably wishing Reid was asleep this past Saturday. Kansas Jayhawks fans thought they were having nightmares of their own when the Cowboy quarterback set a signle-game total offense record (457 yards) in leading his team to a come-from-behind 42-32 victory on Oct. 14.

Gundy and the Cowboy offensive staff has been telling Reid to make more plays running the ball – and his 56-yard scramble to set up OSU's first touchdown against Nebraska was a perfect example of what they are talking about – but he's done most of his damage this season with his throwing arm.

His 16-yard touchdown pass to Keith Toston coming out of the backfield for the Cowboys' first score against the Cornhuskers showed that he can throw the touch pass. On the other end of the spectrum, he rifled a 45-yard pass to Adarius Bowman for a touchdown right before halftime that gave the Cowboys the momentum.

"He's made those adjustments. He's doing better on touch passes. He can flat throw it," Gundy said. "The ball he threw out here before halftime (to Bowman for the touchdown), there aren't very many guys who can throw that ball. He can throw the ball 50 yards on a line. When he lets it go, he can let it go. He's gotten better at those (touch passes). But his ability to just shoot it in there when he wants to, that's where he can really hurt people.

"He's gotten better. He's improved. He's refining it. He's still got a ways to go but he's considerably better than he was," Gundy continued.

In the past Gundy has avoided questions comparing Reid to UT's Vince Young, who led the Longhorns to the national championship a year ago. He didn't Monday.

"He's probably another 10 or 15 games away from that," Gundy said. "Bobby has a lot of natural ability, and he's dedicated and he's become a thinker now. He puts time in it. If he stays on course, he can be pretty good."

Cowboy fans hope he's pretty good Saturday against the Longhorns.

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