Marc Tyler appeared to be the victim of a bad call Saturday when Big Ten officials ruled he had fumbled in the first quarter. TV replays later showed his elbow had hit the turf.
Something good came out of Tyler’s subsequent benching. Fifth-year senior Allen Bradford turned in one of the best performances of his career, gaining 131 yards and scoring a touchdown. Now, the Trojans are back to Square One. Coach Lane Kiffin said he’s not sure who the starter will be, but that both tailbacks will play.
Tyler still is looking at Saturday’s game as a learning experience. This coaching staff has a zero-tolerance policy for turnovers, or even near-turnovers. Tyler just doesn’t want to stress about it too much.
“When I think about it too much, I start running different,” Tyler said. “I know I’m not horrible like my dad was, fumbling like that. But I’m a running back. It’s hard.”
Tyler’s father, Wendell Tyler, fumbled 66 times in a 10-year NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. Marc Tyler said people often remind him about his father’s problems with ball security.
“I’ve seen pictures of how he used to hold the ball, but I think every running back held like the ball like that back in the day," he said.