After thrashing Warriors, USC's Leinart, Bush are 1-2
Posted: Tuesday September 6, 2005 3:25PM; Updated: Wednesday September 7, 2005 10:12AM
Matt Leinart (left) and Reggie Bush combined for five TDs in a win over Hawaii Saturday.
Peter Read Miller/SI
The Heisman race after the first week of games looks much like the New York City Marathon after mile 1: There is a crush of early starters who won't be around at the finish. So there was not much gleaned from the opening weekend. We do know, however, who didn't look like a Heisman candidate: a certain Crimson and Creamed running back from Oklahoma. And his name isn't Kejuan Jones.
1. Matt Leinart, QB, USC, Sr.
Last week: 18-of-24 passing, 332 yards, 3 TDs, INT in a 63-17 victory at Hawaii
The lowdown: The current titleholder essentially held serve against an overmatched Warriors defense. With the game in hand, Leinart played just three quarters and didn't show any effects from minor offseason surgery to his throwing elbow. We'll learn more about the ballroom dancer's chances as the Trojans' dance card toughens over the next month.
Up next: Sept. 17 vs. Arkansas
2. Reggie Bush, RB, USC, Jr.
Last week: 12 rushes, 86 yards, 2 TDs; 4 catches, 58 yards; 1 kick return, 14 yards in a 63-17 victory at Hawaii
The lowdown: While Leinart makes plays look easy, Bush makes them look spectacular. The President started his campaign with a 41-yard touchdown run capped by his now-patented forward somersault in the end zone. The biggest development for Bush? In his three quarters of play, he got the carries -- even at the goal line -- over big back LenDale White.
Up next: Sept. 17 vs. Arkansas
3. Vince Young, QB, Texas, Jr.
Last week: 13-of-17 passing, 173 yards, 3 TDs, INT; 7 carries, 49 yards, TD in a 60-3 victory against Louisiana-Lafayette
The lowdown: He still throws like he's fly casting -- all arm, no legs -- but the motion was effective last week, setting up a showdown in the 'Shoe with Ohio State on Saturday. A Rose Bowl-type performance from Young and a Texas win would elevate him to the top of many Heisman lists, but according to the noise coming from Buckeyes linebacker Bobby Carpenter, that won't happen. Says Carpenter, "When Vince Young leaves here, he won't be a candidate for the Heisman."
Up next: Saturday at Ohio State
4. Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota, Jr.
Last week: 21 carries, 203 yards, 2 TDs in a 41-10 victory at Tulsa
The lowdown: A terrific blend of speed, power and balance, Maroney started his season with a 67-yard touchdown run on his first carry. He then added a 73-yarder for another touchdown. Without Marion Barber III in the backfield to steal his touches and with a nasty offensive line in front of him, Maroney should be on the Heisman radar all season.
Up next: Saturday vs. Colorado State
5. Ted Ginn, WR/KR, Ohio State, Soph.
Last week: 5 catches, 75 yards, TD; 3 carries, 11 yards; 2 punt returns, 21 yards; 1 kick return, 14 yards in a 34-14 victory against Miami (Ohio)
The lowdown: This do-it-all speedster thinks he can score on any play (and maybe rightfully so), which led to a lot of dancing and cutback attempts that didn't work against the RedHawks. This week, though, is his chance to make his case for the Heisman against a Texas team that in the Rose Bowl allowed 315 total yards to a similar player in Michigan's Steve Breaston. Ginn is better.