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Marc Tyler, a Trojans linebacker?

USC tailback Marc Tyler debuted in style Thursday night with 154 yards rushing, including a highlight-reel 44-yard touchdown run.

The junior admitted, however, that he grew disillusioned watching his friends flourish the past three years while he mostly watched from the sidelines.

"It was tough," Tyler said. "Guys I played in high school with like (Oregon linebacker) Casey Matthews and (former Notre Dame quarterback) Jimmy Clausen were having great careers. And (former USC tailback) Broderick Green transferred to Arkansas and scored 12 touchdowns last season.

"That was rough on me."

Tyler said his parents were the main reason he stayed at USC instead of transferring like Green, and he said he didn't completely rule out a move to linebacker last spring when defensive coaches Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron suggested it.

"I thought about it," Tyler said. "I'm happy I got to stay at running back, though."

Strange decision

USC quarterback Matt Barkley wouldn't speculate why Kiffin went for two points after each of USC's first three touchdowns.

"We were kind of messing around," Barkley said, "trying to do different things. I'll just do what coaches call."

Asked what Kiffin was thinking, Barkley said, "I don't know. Ask him about that."

On Woods

Johnson complimented true freshman wide receiver Robert Woods, who started and caught four passes for 46 yards.

"As a freshman, he did a lot better than I did," Johnson said.

Read more at www.sbsun.com

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