November 20, 2005

513: USC running back Reggie Bush hung that many yards on Fresno State running, receiving and returning last night in a 50-42 win, the second-highest all-purpose yards in NCAA history. One of the 90,007 fans who witnessed the performance: "You can hear the entire crowd suck in its collective breath every time he has the ball." In related news, the Houston Texans have the NFL's worst record at 1-8, ahead of seven teams at 2-7.

posted by rcade to football at 09:31 AM - 20 comments

That would certainly be ironic, Fresno State's biggest star in so many years as QB of the Texans, and USC's biggest star (that isn't a quarterback) as RB for Houston. Sounds like a match made in Pac 10 heaven. I'm in Big 10 territory so the game was not broadcast here. Would have loved to seen it.

posted by insomnyuk at 09:43 AM on November 20, 2005

I'm vivid UCLA fan, but I have found it difficult to not root for USC lately, especially for its three big stars. The FS/USC game was awesome and entertaining.

posted by lenescobar at 11:29 AM on November 20, 2005

I was hoping Fresno would knock USC off. Even if USC had lost, they'd still be # 2. It wouldn't have changed the National Championship game at all. Thanks to Ga Tech, Penn State is where they would have been if they were undefeated. I can only hope UCLA will beat USC and see what happens. Maybe Joe Pa can sneak into the National Title game.

posted by dbt302 at 11:42 AM on November 20, 2005

Last night's game was a barn burner and a lot of fun to watch. My heart was still racing well after the game was finished. insomnyuk: I live in ACC country, but I was able to watch it on Fox Sport Network. Yesterday was a great day for college football fans what with the squeaker in Ann Arbor and the aforementioned USC/Fresno State game. As I sat in the Continental, all I could say was, "Wowee wow wow!"

posted by NoMich at 12:04 PM on November 20, 2005

I watched the second half, and it was a pretty impressive game by the Trojans, especially Bush and the secondary. Reggie did make some pretty bad plays though (fumble on a kick return, stupid penalty for slapping a Bulldog player in the helmet out of frustration). Outside of those, he pretty much ran and caught at will. Not sure the Texans really need Bush, though. They may want to work on their graham cracker consistency offensive line.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:04 PM on November 20, 2005

As a happy USC alum I was amazed by Bush's performance and disappointed by Pete Carroll's. Why was Bush still returning kicks so late in the game when he was clearly winded from breaking off the long runs? That was the cause of the fumble and the foolish penalty IMO. Our defense surely could have played better but Fresno State has an awesome multipurpose #5 of their own and a good QB and we had some key injuries so not blaming them too much. After last night, though, and barring a huge performance by Leinart (or a craptacular one by Bush) against UCLA, I think the Heisman race is down to Reggie and Vince Young. Kind of too bad they hold the vote before the bowl games since--sorry, dbt203--we'll get to see them on the same field a few weeks later. I don't get the Texas games here, maybe I'll watch Friday's, and I'm biased anyway, so who would the rest of you vote for right now?

posted by billsaysthis at 04:06 PM on November 20, 2005

Drafting Bush: I'll agree with Ufez, the top picks are much better spent on lineman. QBs get paid way too much money (as #1s) and don't produce soon enough whereas lineman can plus they make the current (or free agent signing or lower pick) QB much less likely to have Theisman-like injuries. Reggie (and Leinart and Vince Young) should be taken in the 6-10 range unless a better team trades up.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:11 PM on November 20, 2005

bill, you may be right from a strategic standpoint, but the PR machines in Houston & SF would go nuts if they passed over the prized guys. I'd be shocked if Bush & Leinart didn't both go in the top three.

posted by chicobangs at 04:23 PM on November 20, 2005

I agree with chico. The Texans need so much, but do they feel strong enough about Carr and Davis to pass on either Leinart or Bush? A lineman would make absolute sense for them, but unless one is so head and shoulders above everyone else (like Orlando Pace was), a team can't sit back and take the chance Bush/Leinart go somewhere else and turn into Tomlinson/P. Manning. That said, I DO think the Texans will win tonight vs. the Chiefs.

posted by dyams at 05:02 PM on November 20, 2005

bill, you may be right from a strategic standpoint, but the PR machines in Houston & SF would go nuts if they passed over the prized guys. I'd be shocked if Bush & Leinart didn't both go in the top three. Fair enough, but if the Texans wind up with the top pick, they'd be fucking foolish not to trade that pick for a decent O-Line. Both Carr and Davis have shown that they're better than they've played this year, but it's hard to fault them when Carr gets sacked at a rate of 6+ times a game. In the USC/FS post-game interview, Reggie Bush's first props went to his offensive line. I know it's a given cliche and all, but he had some goatse-sized gaping holes to explode through. Granted, his speed and ability to juke open-field tackles did the rest, but there's no way he's going to have that opportunity with the current Houston team. Top draft picks are nice for the hype and the first year jersey sales, but if they don't produce and if the team doesn't improve, it's not going to make a difference in that 2nd, 3rd, or 5th year while you're still stuck with a giant contract.

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:51 PM on November 20, 2005

Houston should and will take Bush no.1. 513 all- purpose yards. HE will be Carr's best friend out of the back field. Texen's everywhere will be waiting for those ESPN highlights Regie! Regie! screen pass to Regie Bush OH MY GOD!

posted by jhirth at 11:08 PM on November 20, 2005

Without an offensive line, all drafting "Regie" will do is give Carr a shellshocked pal in that foxhole of a backfield while they both continue getting beaten to a pulp. You see them play tonight? That O-line couldn't manage a screen pattern against a YMCA pickup team. But regardless, they probably will draft "Regie," and for the sake of his sanity (and that of Texans fans wherever they may cower) I hope I'm wrong.

posted by chicobangs at 01:10 AM on November 21, 2005

Now that I've sobered up, I want to apologize for the ridiculous prediction I made above regarding last night's game. The Texans really are a horrible team. They could have three number 1's (consecutive picks, no less), sign them all, and they'd still have huge holes. Screw it, trade the pick. I don't have the stomach to watch Bush, Leinart, or Young take that kind of abuse.

posted by dyams at 05:48 AM on November 21, 2005


posted by Dav at 06:03 AM on November 21, 2005

I'm not sure where I stand regarding Houston's drafting strategy. Peyton's first year in the league he was sacked an incredible number of times. He had basically the same offensive line. I know every football game the announcers callout Howard Mudd and the Colts offensive line, but there are often times where Manning makes completions or gets rid of the ball in situations where other quarterbacks would get sacked. I honestly don't know how much weight to assign to the line and how much to the quarterback. The more you assign to the line the obviously the more you trade down, cause you don't know what kind quarterback you have yet. Otherwise you blame Carr for the sacks and he needs to be replaced.

posted by chmurray at 12:27 PM on November 21, 2005

I'm also not sure how I feel about Carr. I thought last year was going to be a breakout year for him since he finally had some pieces in place with Andre Johnson and Dominick Davis. However all I see from Carr is 5-8 yard hitches and dump offs to Davis. I don't know if this is a function of his decision making and comfort level or the play-calling, but he could relieve a lot of pressure by making some plays downfield. Carr is a very mobile quarterback who should be able to buy enough time to make some plays. I just convinced myself, Carr is the problem. The O-line isn't doing him any favors, but he gives the defense no reason to respect anything past 10 yards. That being said, if they end up #1 trade down and strockpile some picks. This team needs help in too many areas for one player to put them over the top.

posted by bigrobbieb at 01:04 PM on November 21, 2005

You cannot make plays downfield without some time. They are killing Carr. Sometimes, he barely has enough time to set up before they are on him. The O-line play is horrific. Certainly, sometimes sacks are a result of good coverage or the QB holding on to the ball too long. But, just the sheer amount of sacks that he takes with an O-line that is not built for pass protection dictates that you can't blame Carr.

posted by bperk at 02:05 PM on November 21, 2005

Dominic Davis is the Texans running back of the future. In the draft they still take Reggie Bush but make him a WR to go oppisite of Andre Johnson. Carr is your best shot at QB, really who else is there with enough NFL expierience to replace him; and your not going to put in another unproven QB. Make some changes to the line and the offense should be fine, you just have to worry about the D.

posted by AKD2486 at 10:52 AM on November 23, 2005

Make Bush a number two wide reciever? Why would he want that? He is more talented than Davis. Don't you want your talent actually touching the ball?

posted by bperk at 11:20 AM on November 23, 2005

Reggie Bush as a WR? A number two WR, no less? While Domanick Davis remains your starter at RB? Okay, whatever you're drinking, set me up a round or four, m'kay?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:07 PM on November 23, 2005

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