Chicago Colleges: Marc Tyler

USC comments fall on deaf ears

October, 23, 2011
Don't expect any verbal retaliation from Notre Dame players in wake of a 31-17 loss to USC that led to several Trojans players taking postgame shots at the Irish.

"If they do, they don't know me very well," Brian Kelly said during his Sunday teleconference.

USC took possession at the Irish 49 with 6:43 left in the game following a Nickell Robey interception. It ended the contest with 10 straight Curtis McNeal runs.

Down two scores, Notre Dame did not use any of its timeouts, prompting harsh words from its visitors.

"At the end there, when they didn't call those timeouts, they just quit," USC linebacker Chris Galippo said, according to's Pedro Moura. "And that's what Notre Dame football's about. They're not anything like USC."

"We're coming halfway across the country to play these guys," Galippo added. "They hyped it up. This was their Super Bowl. They had 26 or 27 official visits this weekend.

"This was it for them."

Trojans running back Marc Tyler had more toned-down comments about Notre Dame.

"That's what happens when you beat them down," Tyler said. "We wore them out. They didn't want to play no more.

"We out-physicaled them and beat them down."

Kelly did not agree that his team wore down defensively but would not engage in a battle of words.

"I don't know if that's the case," Kelly said. "To the victors go the spoils. I think we probably would have said the same thing last year. Again, how we evaluate our players, we didn't play the kind of football we wanted to play."

What we learned about Notre Dame: Week 8

October, 23, 2011
1. The run game has some work to do: Notre Dame's ground attack, which averaged nearly 200 yards per game entering Saturday, made believers out of everyone six games into the season. But the Irish managed just 41 yards on the ground Saturday against the Trojans, with a large majority of those coming on Jonas Gray's 25-yard touchdown run. Facing a big deficit early, Notre Dame ran the ball just 14 times and will need to re-find its touch as it moves forward through the season.

2. The run D isn't as good as we thought: What was believed to be a mediocre USC ground attack marched for 219 yards Saturday. Give plenty of credit to Marc Tyler for a gutsy performance after dislocating his left shoulder last week against Cal, as the senior rushed for 67 yards on 13 carries in a game many thought he wouldn't play in. The potential return to normalcy in facing a more traditional offense did nothing for the Irish defense, which had a tough time up the middle all night.

3. George Atkinson has made a huge difference: Atkinson's 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown got Notre Dame on the board and gave it some much-needed momentum. He did the same thing in Week 3 against Michigan State, and the freshman is now one of only four FBS players to return a pair of kickoffs for scores this season. He's the second Irish freshman to ever return two in the same season as well, joining Rocket Ismail in 1988.

4. USC's providing all of the juice in this rivalry at the moment: Lane Kiffin repeated his Super Bowl line in his postgame news conference, along with several other digs he sneaked in. And just take a look at some of the Trojans' players quotes following their 31-17 win Saturday night. Towels, night games and music can only go so far. Competitive games and bad blood are typically the marks of great rivalries. USC players are certainly providing part of that formula at the moment.

End of first: USC 14, Irish 0

October, 22, 2011
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — That was quick, no?

USC has jumped out to an early 14-0 lead at the end of one, and it looks like it could be a long night for the Irish if they don't figure things out fast.

The Trojans marched 66 yards on 13 plays on their first drive, using 11 rushes to chew up 7:39 of clock time. They then went 62 yards on six plays — four passes — to take a two-score lead.

Matt Barkley is 6-for-6 with 52 yards and two touchdown passes, and a banged-up Marc Tyler has rushed for 54 yards on eight carries so far.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, went three-and-out on its first two drives and will try to avoid a third three-and-out when the second quarter gets underway, as the Irish face third-and-5 when play resumes.

This is obviously not the kind of start the Irish were hoping for after a bye week and plenty of buildup, and they will need to act fast on both sides of the ball to keep this one from getting out of hand early.