NEW ORLEANS (AP) Reggie Bush had the breakout game New Orleans was waiting for, and the Saints maintained their hold on 1st place in the NFL South.
Bush tied Joe Horn's franchise record by scoring all 4 of the Saints' touchdowns and gained 168 total yards Sunday as New Orleans beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-10.
Most of Bush's gains were modest, but his stunning acceleration, fancy footwork and leaping ability were in evident in all of his touchdowns and numerous drive-sustaining plays. He finished with 131 yards on 9 receptions and 37 yards on 10 rushes.
San Francisco was as close as 14-10 early in the 3rd quarter after Alex Smith connected with Antonio Bryant for a 48-yard score. But Smith was done in on two subsequent passes intended for Bryant, both of which were intercepted by Mike McKenzie and led to 10 points for New Orleans.
That left Smith to watch Bush do the types of things he had seen many times before when the two were high school teammates in San Diego.
Bush's first touchdown was a 1-yard dive over the pile, although the gain that set that up was even more impressive. The 2005 Heisman Trophy winner turned a short pass out of the backfield into a 14-yard gain by badly faking out a first defender on a stutter-step, then carrying a band of tacklers on his back down to the 1.
His second score came when Bush bounced outside and used his speed to gain the corner, stepping inside the pylon for an 8-yard touchdown run.
His slippery moves helped him snake through traffic for his third touchdown on Brees' shovel pass on a 3rd & Goal from the 5.
Then he hurt the Niners by turning a short pass into a 74-yard gain to set up his fourth TD, a slicing 10-yard run in which he dove and stretched to reach the goal line while apparently getting the wind knocked out of him. After crouching for several seconds, he rose and jogged to the bench as the crowd chanted his name.