Five days before kickoff in South Bend, the USC Trojans' tailback situation is still up in the air against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Senior Marc Tyler dislocated his shoulder in last Thursday's win against the California Golden Bears, but insists he will be ready to play Saturday night.
"It might hurt when I take a hit, but I want to play in this game so bad, it doesn't matter," Tyler said after practice on Tuesday. Tyler leads the Trojans this season with 368 rushing yards and 83 carries through six games this season, and that includes the fact that Tyler was suspended from the season opener against Minnesota.
Junior Curtis McNeal is next in line if Tyler can't go on Saturday, and figures to be heavily involved whether Tyler plays or not. McNeal is second on the team with 289 yards on 41 carries, an average of 7.0 yards per rush. McNeal led the team with 86 yards and 17 carries against Cal, and has led the team in rushing yards in three of the last four contests. McNeal has the Trojans' two longest runs of the year: a 44-yarder against Arizona, and a 43-yard scamper against Syracuse.
Saturday's 4:30 p.m. game will be televised nationally by NBC, with Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock, and Alex Flanagan on the call. For more USC football news and information, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.