After the New Orleans Saints’ 31-17 victory in the Super Bowl on Sunday, three former Trojans joined a long list of ex-USC football players with Super Bowl victories on their résumés.
Former USC star and current New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush had the biggest impact on the game among the cast of ex-USC players, as he contributed 63 total yards from scrimmage, 38 of which were receiving.
Also responsible for returning punts for the Saints, Bush only had two kicked his way, one of which he fair-caught at the New Orleans’ 28-yard line and another which he was only able to return four yards.
Bush joins an exclusive group with the Saints’ Super Bowl victory, as he becomes just the third player to ever win a Heisman Trophy, a college football national championship and a Vince Lombardi Trophy.
One of the other two members of the club is another former USC running back Marcus Allen, who was a part of the 1978 national champion Trojans, won the Heisman Trophy in 1981 and won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984. Allen was also the MVP of Oakland’s 38-9 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.
The Saints picked Bush second overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, and, while the running back has been widely considered a bust in the professional ranks, his performance in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs helped the Saints make their way through the NFL’s postseason.
The Saints also featured a former Trojan on defense, as defensive lineman Sedrick Ellis also played a key role in the game, recording three tackles — one for a loss — against the explosive Indianapolis Colts offense.
With the Colts threatening to score to bring the game within seven points with under two minutes to play, Ellis broke through the Colts’ offensive line on third and goal to help take down Colts running back Joseph Addai for a two-yard loss. On fourth and goal, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw an incomplete pass, sealing the Saints’ victory.
On the season, the Saints’ rookie had 34 total tackles and two sacks in limited playing time on New Orleans’ defensive line.
Tight end Billy Miller — who played for the Trojans during the late 1990s — was on the injured reserve for the Saints but he will likely still receive a Super Bowl ring for the victory.
Indianapolis defensive lineman Fili Moala, the only former Trojan on the AFC champion Colts, was ruled inactive for the game after being out of action for the entire AFC playoffs.