Reggie Bush, as the NCAA’s draconian sanctions of USC stipulate, has been permanently disassociated from the program; his records were never set, his wins were never won, he’s not allowed sideline access to practices and games. In fact, you’re not even allowed to think about Reggie Bush’s career at USC. Are you thinking about it? Stop!
But in a professional capacity, his analyst job on Fox Sports’s college football pregame show, Bush was permitted a little homecoming Friday night when USC—the school Reggie Bush never went to and has never even heard of—took on No. 10 Utah.
Bush got off to a rollicking start in the pregame show, suggesting that the Trojans’ woes might have something to do with them not wearing shirts during warmups: “If you’re not winning national championships, if you ain’t undefeated, blowing people out the water, put some clothes on and look like a football team.”
One might argue that USC’s problem is not shirts, it’s containing outside runs and a flighty offensive line, but whatever, Reggie knows best. In any case, Bush picked his Trojans to win it.
Thanks to an impressive-given-the-circumstances show from third-string quarterback Matt Fink, who stepped in early in the first quarter, USC did manage an upset 30-23 win over the Utes. USC coach Clay Helton, who is so reliably “on the hot seat” these days it’s a miracle his pants haven’t melted off, may live to coach another week. (Somewhere before halftime, Urban Meyer stepped away from the analysts’ desk to take a few measurements in Helton’s office, just in case.)
With seven minutes to play, freshman running back Markese Stepp bulldozed a poor Ute for his first career touchdown. Stepp pointed toward Bush on the sideline and ran at him to celebrate. Bush dapped up Stepp—likely in violation of thousands of NCAA rules—before a referee broke them up and threw a flag on Stepp for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The flag aside, the moment was a nice reminder that some things just can’t be vacated.
“I think anybody was thinking about that if you got in the end zone. He was right there,” Stepp told the Orange County Register. “It would be hard to not go to him. That’s Reggie Bush. It’s hard to put into words.”