Tuesday Practice Report

The Trojans could be without redshirt sophomore tailback Marc Tyler for the remainder of the 2009 season. Tyler said Tuesday that he is leaning towards having surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot. Look inside for all the news, notes and quotes from Tuesday's practice.

Tyler Considering Surgery

The Trojans could be without redshirt sophomore tailback Marc Tyler for the remainder of the 2009 season.

Tyler said today that he is leaning towards having surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot after meeting with team doctors.

"They don't know what they want to do yet but I saw the doctor," Tyler said. "He said if I don't [have surgery] it will probably be a 50-50 chance that it will still bother me."

Tyler only participated in the season opener against San Jose State, rushing five times for 72 yards and said he would consider taking the necessary steps to receive a medical redshirt.

"I think I can because I only played in one game," he said. "I probably will, just in case I need that extra year."

Perry Practices

The USC defensive line that was without three key players on Monday received a boost from the return of Nick Perry today.

Perry sat out most of the bye week to rest his bruised knee, which he has banged on three separate occasions, but was back in action Tuesday and is expected to be available against Notre Dame.

"I am getting better every day and it's starting to not be a pain, so I will be ready to go on Saturday," Perry said.

Perry, who grew up in the Midwest, is excited to get back to the area and will have some familiar faces in the crowd.

"I will have a lot of people there," Perry said with a smile. "I just love to get back around that area."

While most of the USC players won't be used to the cold weather in South Bend, Perry will be right at home.

"People don't like the cold here but I love the cold. You got to love the cold," Perry said. "I am looking for 40 or 30 degree weather."

Johnson Headed Home

USC senior tailback Stafon Johnson will be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday morning, the school announced today.

Johnson has been in the hospital since undergoing emergency throat surgery on Sept. 28th, following a weightlifting accident.

At his weekly press conference USC head coach Pete Carroll said he expects Johnson to receive a medical redshirt as a result of the injury.

"He's going to have a choice what he wants to do next year," Carroll said. "So we'll figure that out in time. But I'm glad he's got options whether to come back or go on the NFL."

Mustain Talks Promotion

A day after being named the backup quarterback, Mitch Mustain took all of the second-team reps and had another solid performance.

"Mitch did real well again," Carroll said. "I think Mitch is throwing the ball better right now and more firm."

The redshirt junior met with the media for the first time since being named the backup and discussed his new role.

"It's a good opportunity so we'll see what happens. They told me I was taking the two reps this week and we'll go from there," Mustain said. "I feel like I've been far more consistent the last three weeks or so. I feel like I played to my potential.

"I felt better, for whatever reason got it going, and I had a few (good) weeks during camp and now I'm feeling better."

Mustain said he spent time working on his mechanics this summer and has recently seen the results of his improved throwing motion.

"I think it is settling some mechanics issues this summer, stuff that I felt like it was bothering me," Mustain said. "It was nothing painful or anything like that, but just stuff I could tell was out of the ordinary and had been for a while."

"I took this summer and took the opportunity to get it fixed, and I think it helped a lot. It was stuff that for whatever reason had been off for a while, and I noticed it a lot during the spring. I just had trouble getting it to fly like I usually have, or like I have in the past."

Mustain said passing guru Bob Johnson helped him with his mechanics this offseason.

"I worked with Bob Johnson this summer, and I've worked with him before," Mustain said. "He helped tremendously."

Hot Reads

- Marc Tyler, Marshall Jones, Adam Goodman, James Boyd, Byron Moore, Christian Tupou and Averell Spicer were among the players that didn't participate in practice on Tuesday.

- With Christian Tupou and Averell Spicer limited, defensive lineman Armond Armstead will likely play defensive tackle against Notre Dame.

"We are a little banged up inside so I think that's the best place for him to focus on as he is coming back here," Pete Carroll said. "Right now, this is what we need to do until Christain (Tupou) can get back out there."

- Freshman quarterback Matt Barkley had a very good day throwing the ball in the rain during Tuesday's practice, including a perfectly placed pass to Damian Williams for a 40-yard touchdown.

"He had a terrific day," Carroll said. "When he had to make some big plays he made some great throws today."

- Pete Carroll sounded like former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz this afternoon as heaped a big dose of praise on the Trojans' opponent.

"This is the hottest Notre Dame team we've seen in a couple of years. All phases are hammering at you. Their offense is loaded. Defense is attacking and aggressive and making things happen," Carroll said of the Irish. "They've just had an extraordinary start to the season with great wins and drama everywhere."

- Carroll said the Notre Dame offense, led by quarterback Jimmy Clausen and wide receiver Golden Tate, is the best group they have faced this season.

"This is the best passing team by far that we've seen," Carroll said. "They pose the biggest challenge, and they have got big play guys."

- Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis was asked about the differences between Jimmy Clausen and Matt Barkley during their freshman seasons and replied, "I think that Jimmy wasn't around as good a supporting cast. That might be the biggest understatement I might ever say, but I'm trying to be politically correct."

Tailback Stafon Johnson will be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday.

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If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com

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