USC running back Marc Tyler picks up yardage against Syracuse on Saturday… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
USC expects to receive a rowdy reception from Arizona State fans when the No. 23 Trojans visit Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday night.
And what of Trojans tailback Marc Tyler?
The senior will start for the second time after rushing for a team-best 154 yards in two games, but the Sun Devils faithful might give him a hero's welcome in the wake of his comments this summer.
Tyler was suspended by USC for the season opener — in part because of inappropriate remarks he made on camera to TMZ.com.
But one of the more innocuous comments he made was in response to a query asking which college had the most attractive women.
"Arizona State," Tyler said in the video.
On Thursday, Tyler was asked if he expected the crowd to be tough on him.
Or, perhaps, cheer him.
"You never know," he said. "They could come with some signs. I'll just roll with it. I'm not going to pay attention to it or scream anything into the stands; I'll probably just laugh it off."
Tyler said he did not get grief from USC fans for his assessment.
But when asked if he stood by it, he laughed and said, "Nah. USC has the best everything."
Quarterback Matt Barkley will probably not find the Arizona State crowd as potentially forgiving.
Barkley told The Times' Baxter Holmes that, based on his experience playing against Sun Devils linebacker Vontaze Burfict in high school, he considered Burfict, "a dirty player."
"His switch is always on," Barkley said. "And it's not a good switch."
Homecoming for Kennard
USC defensive end Devon Kennard attended high school in the Phoenix area and is looking forward to playing near his hometown with more than 20 friends and family members in the crowd.
"I know the [Arizona State] coaching staff well and a lot of the players," said Kennard, a junior who made his first career start at end against the Sun Devils two years ago.
Kennard has a vivid memory of Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler from the 2009 game, a 14-9 USC victory.
"Osweiler got me [with a] stiff arm and a lot of my friends gave me a hard time for that for about a year," Kennard said. "So I'm excited. I owe him."
Kennard, who started at middle linebacker for much of the 2010 season, has played at end in a rotation with Nick Perry and Wes Horton but has yet to record a sack.
That, he said, could change Saturday.
"This will be a great opportunity for me," he said. "They throw the ball a lot."
Offensive lineman Abe Markowitz, who has not played because of a foot injury, will have surgery next week and will be sidelined the remainder of the season. Coach Lane Kiffin had been hoping that the junior would return to help, or possibly start, at guard. Freshman Marcus Martin is expected to start for the second time at left guard against Arizona State. … Linebacker Lamar Dawson (ankle) did not practice and Kiffin said it had not been determined whether the freshman would be among the 70 players traveling to Tempe. Will Andrew or Shane Horton would back up Chris Galippo at middle linebacker if needed.