‘Busta’ moves mostly into the end zone

USC tight end shas a propensity for scoring TDs

Special to The StateOctober 13, 2012 

The South Carolina media guide lists him as Rory Anderson.

Steve Spurrier often refers to him to by what many thought his nickname was, “Buster.”

Those close to him — from childhood to now — have always referred to him as “Busta” Anderson, a nickname his mother bestowed upon him when he was about 2 years old.

Whatever name he goes by needs to be followed with the moniker of “Touchdown-maker.”

Anderson has a knack for getting the most out of his catches. He has 16 career receptions and seven have gone for touchdowns.

“It’s kind of funny because a lot of players jump on me because of my catch-to-touchdown ratio,” Anderson said. “They say I don’t catch (anything) but touchdowns. I kind of find that funny.”

Before we move on to his unique ability to find the end zone, let’s look more into the nickname he received at such a young age.

“My mom called me that because she said I always got into a lot of things,” Anderson said. “A lot of people back home don’t even know my real name. Everybody knows me as Busta. I was always into stuff and messing around when I was a kid.”

With the mystery surrounding his nickname being solved, Anderson hopes to focus on continuing his career-long trend of taking his catches into the end zone. His next chance to try and earn the nickname “Touchdown-maker” comes tonight when No. 3 South Carolina travels to face No. 9 LSU in Baton Rouge, La.

Last year, Anderson had scores against Tennessee, The Citadel and Clemson among his eight receptions. So far this year, he has added two scores against East Carolina, another against Missouri and his most recent came during the Gamecocks’ 35-7 thrashing of Georgia.

Even the Head Ball Coach is stumped as to why Anderson has been so successful in the red zone.

“He’s a good receiver,” Spurrier said. “He’s sort of slippery getting out and so forth. I don’t have an exact answer. We don’t throw that much, that’s why he doesn’t have a lot of catches. Nobody has a lot, really, but he does have a knack for running some good routes and catching the ball.”

Joe Robinson, the Gamecocks first-year tight ends coach/special teams coordinator, had one theory on why the 6-foot-5, 218-pound sophomore from Powder Springs, Ga., is so successful.

“He’s a wonderful receiver and he’s a tremendous threat because he runs so well,” Robinson said. “And he’s a smart kid. He’s a very savvy football player in the passing game that finds a way to make big plays.”

The three touchdown catches last year were the second-highest on the team. He has eight catches with four touchdowns, which leads the team. He is tied with Ace Sanders for second on the team in touchdowns, five behind school career leader Marcus Lattimore.

Anderson said he doesn’t do anything special once the team gets to the goal line. The most-proven route is for Anderson to sneak off the line of scrimmage and run across the field while the quarterback rolls the opposite way and lofts the ball up so he can run under it.

“I’ve been blessed to being in the right position and coach Spurrier calling the right plays in order for me to get open in the red zone,” Anderson said.

The Gamecocks are on a school-record 10-game winning streak, but Anderson said there is much more the offense can accomplish, even though it’s averaging 36.3 points per game.

“We know we have one of the best running backs (Lattimore) in the country and I don’t feel like anybody can stop him,” Anderson said. “I think we need to improve more in the passing game. Coach Spurrier likes to focus on the passing game because we know we can run the ball. He’s a guy that wants to get the ball in the air.”

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