USC's O'Dowd to start at center; Tyler out

September, 11, 2009
9/11/09
6:54
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- USC junior center Kristofer O'Dowd will return to the starting lineup Saturday night against No. 8 Ohio State (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET), though sophomore running back Marc Tyler will miss the game with a sprained toe.

O'Dowd has been out since Aug. 17, when he dislocated a kneecap during a scrimmage. Head coach Pete Carroll said after Friday's walk-through at Ohio Stadium that the first-team All-Pac-10 center will start against the Buckeyes. That means Jeff Byers shifts back to left guard for the game.

Tyler rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on five carries last Saturday against San Jose State, but he hurt his toe in Thursday's practice. As we all know, USC remains stacked at running back and shouldn't miss Tyler too much against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes will have wide receivers Ray Small (illness) and DeVier Posey (ankle) available, and defensive tackle Dexter Larimore (legs) also should be fine.

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