Sunday, November 20, 2005

Reggie Bush: Heisman Contender and Human Highlight Reel

I hope that you stayed up late last night because Reggie Bush put on a show when his team absolutely needed someone to step up. To start with, here are tow quick links for reference a great article about his performance last night, which you can read the details of here. The performance was on the ground, through the air and on returns. USC faced a stiff defense from Fresno St., and needed a ground game to put points on the board. Last night's nationally televised game on the Fox Sports Network combined with his thrilling game against Notre Dame should solidify him as the front runner and deserving winner of the Heisman Trophy.

The arguments for Bush's Heisman case are better put forth by professionals, but I want to discuss the speed, the cuts and th epower he brings to the game. USC faced a defense which is known for their slogan "Shut up and hit somebody". They are a physical defense, which forced the Trojans to try to run to the edge and throw. Fresno St. did not blitz often and dropped as many as 8 men back to stifle the Trojans' ability to go deep. This meant that Bush had to give the Trojans big yards on the ground. Bush delivered with an exclamation point.

Bush showed off his speed with his 65 yard run, where he hit the hole quickly bounced outside and streaked down the sidelines. Bush has the speed to outrun linebackers and even defensive backs. On top of this speed, his body control is amazing. He stops on a dime when he needs to cut and can move quickyl enough to bring his shoulders square to tacklers. Bush makes cuts that are on par with the talented back in San Diego right now. The amazing part about Bush is that he makes defenders miss, but fights off arm tackles to get considerable yards after contact. On one of his 25+ yard rushes, Bush had a defensive back lined up for a tackle and he bounced 2 yards to his left and then accelerated right past the defender. His legs are surprisingly powerful despite his smaller frame. That leads to the other great feature of his running: power. While Bush is known as the slashing back for the Trojans, he is not afraid fo contact. Bush will lower his shoulder and deliver a blow to a defender when needed. His legs keep churning and when the size matchup is even, Bush drives through defensive backs easily.

So many of his plays last night were highlight reel worthy, and this game should be front in center when the Heisman committee votes. Bush can catch out of the backfield and has great game awareness. The sad part about his outstanding play this year is that he most likely will be drafted by a terrible team. One can hope that he might be drafted by a team that is having a bad year due to injuries or external oddities and has talent like the NY Jets, the Saints or the Vikings. No matter what he does n the pros, his performance this year should put him in the hall of greatest college running backs of all time.

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