Texas Tech will throw at, and challenge, ISU

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AMES — Iowa State left cornerback Jeremy Reeves smiled at the question.

Yes, he’s quiet.

Yes, opposing quarterbacks have tended to avoid his side of the field.

And yes, that’s about to change.

“It’s coming this week,” said Reeves, who will make his 25th career start when Texas Tech brings its indiscriminate and powerful passing attack to Jack Trice Stadium for Saturday’s 6 p.m. Big 12 opener for both schools. “It doesn’t matter who it is. They’re throwing it wherever — no matter what corner, safety, nickel, whatever. They’re throwing the ball.”

That’s Tech, which like ISU stands 3-0 this season.

And Reeves has performed well against the free-wheeling Red Raiders.

In last season’s 41-7 win at Lubbock, he made five tackles, snared an interception and broke up a pass.

In 2010’s 52-38 triumph, he tied a single-game career-high in stops with 10, sprinkling in another pass breakup.

“Jeremy, he’s Jeremy,” ISU free safety Jacques Washington said. “He’s a corner you can count in and has been that way for the past three years.”

Blink and you’ll miss him.

That’s because respect for his experience and coverage skills have made him largely invisible this season.

“A lot of times it’s good when they’re not talking about a cornerback,” said Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads, whose team hopes to win its conference opener for the first time since 2002. “It’s good when he’s not having a lot of production because guys don’t feel they can go his way, or when (they do) it’s minimal and he makes simple plays that don’t create a lot of attention.”

Reeves grew up in Allen, Texas, near Dallas, dreaming of playing for an in-state or nearby Big 12 power.

It didn’t happen — mostly because he stands 5-7.

The snubs bothered him once, but don’t now.

“I don’t really worry about it anymore,” said Reeves, who was told by assistant coaches from Texas and Oklahoma they would have welcomed him if he were taller. “Some people had their opinion on who they wanted, what player they wanted to pick. I’m just proud to be a Cyclone and glad to be here right now playing under coach Rhoads. That’s all that matters to me.”

ISU defensive coordinator calls Reeves “a leader” and “a hard worker.”

He’ll face a tall — stress, tall — task against the Red Raiders.

Darrin Moore, Tech’s starting “Z” receiver, stands 6-4.

Top tight end Jace Amaro is 6-5.

Each has caught three touchdown passes this season for an offense averaging 597.6 yards per game.

“Better wide receivers, better competition,” Reeves said. “It’s going to be a tough test for is, but we’re going to see how it is.”

And fans will probably notice Reeves — and anyone else conceivably deployed in pass coverage — a lot.

What they won’t likely see are any deer-in-the-headlights looks.

“It’s amazing, man, just to see how we fly around when we watch film,” Reeves said. “But there’s room to get better. We’re not where we want to be. We haven’t played our best game yet. I’m just ready for it to come all out and have everybody clicking.”

TV TALK: Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Fox College Sports (FCS). It’s available to DirecTV and Mediacom Cable subscribers who also pay for a sports package. DISH Network does not carry FCS.

WOODY REMAINS QUESTIONABLE: ISU running back Jeff Woody has made progress with a knee injury sustained in the Sept. 15 win over Western Illinois. “He ran good (Sunday),” Rhoads said. “He did not practice, but he ran good. I’m hopeful he will play in this game.”

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