Sure, some sports are back. But “sports” as we know them are largely still on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today is Day 91 without sports.
For 10 years, Reggie Bush and the USC Trojans football program were broken up like forlorn lovers with an intertwined past who could no longer see each other because of vengeful parents (in this case, the NCAA).
Luckily, Bush and USC can finally acknowledge one another again, as the 10-year “dissociation” mandate was lifted Wednesday to the delight of both parties. It was also a great reminder of how ridiculously good the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft was during his three years with the Trojans. Here’s just a parsing of his most impressive feats.
NOW WE WILL SEE:What’s more important to NASCAR fans: The racing or racism
Reggie Bush loved torching rival UCLA
During Bush’s freshman year, UCLA contained him to 10 yards on six carries. The next two meetings went the opposite way.
In 2004, Bush rushed 15 times for 206 yards and two scores. He also caught six passes for 73 yards. On his 25 touches (including four returns), Bush averaged 13.4 yards.
The next year, Bush followed a 294-yard performance against Fresno State with 260 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The Fresno State game
Don’t worry, we weren’t going to simply gloss over the 294-yard game (and two touchdowns) against Fresno State, ranked 16th at the time. The Bulldogs actually held a lead at halftime, but the Trojans outlasted them 50-42.
In addition to his performance on the ground, he added 68 receiving yards on three catches and returned seven punts for 135 yards, just for good measure.
He reeled off touchdown runs of 50 and 45 yards in the third quarter to give the Trojans the lead and then extend it. College football hasn’t seen cuts like these since Bush.
Oregon State punt return in the fog
Spin moooooooooooove (and 65 yards to the house).
The Bush Push
Not necessarily an original idea from Trojans QB Matt Leinart to catch the defense sleeping, thinking there’s a spike coming, but the execution sure is.
Even without the ball, Bush was helping his team score and “push” the undefeated Trojans past the No. 9 Fighting Irish. His touchdown to open the scoring that day was equally impressive.
The Lateral Attempt
Perhaps Bush was ahead of his time with the lateral attempt. Maybe that’s the next innovation of college football offenses. Did it cost USC the game? That’s unfair to claim, but it didn’t help.
And had some guy named Vince Young not went off for the remaining 11 minutes following this acrobatic touchdown from Bush, perhaps he and the Trojans go down as one of college football’s best dynasties (they remain one of the game’s best teams).
Sports video of the day
You’ve seen enough of Bush scoring touchdowns, so here’s a video of him celebrating one last year while on the sidelines in his role with Fox Sports.
What we’re reading
Jarrett Bell: To make true progress, NFL needs to right its past wrongs against Colin Kaepernick.
Carolina Panthers: NFL team removes statue of former team owner Jerry Richardson.
Dan Wolken: Soon we’ll see what’s more important to NASCAR fans: The racing or racism.
Red Sox: MLB team acknowledges racist incidents at Fenway Park.
Trae Young: NBA All-Star OK losing fans for not sticking to sports.
Spencer Torkelson: Why Arizona State star was perfect first pick for Tigers.
This day in sports history
1981: Final MLB games are played before baseball players go on strike that lasts until August.
1990: Nolan Ryan throws sixth no-hitter at age 43. He’d throw one more to hold the all-time MLB record for no-hitters.
2012: The Los Angeles Kings win their first Stanley Cup in six games over the New Jersey Devils.
Sports on TV
- MLB Draft, Rounds 2-5, ESPN2, 5 p.m. ET
- KBO: KT Wiz vs. Samsung Lions (live), 5:30 a.m. (Friday), ESPN
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.