That created an opportunity for Griffen, who became the first USC true freshman to start an opener on the defensive line since Tim Ryan in 1986 against Illinois. He was the first true freshman to start on the defensive line since Shaun Cody did so in 2001 against Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl. Also not mentioned was the fact that Griffen did not record a tackle, while Moore had four tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a recovered fumble and a deflected pass. Thomas redshirts Cornerback Kevin Thomas’ season is over before it started. Thomas said Monday night he will redshirt because his shoulder feels “tight” following offseason surgery and is not strong enough to play. “I’m just trying to get it better,” Thomas said. The move probably helps USC from a depth standpoint because Thomas will have two years of eligibility left and he no longer will be in the same class as cornerbacks Josh Pinkard and Cary Harris. Keep it simple There’s been plenty of fan criticism over USC’s play calling against Idaho, but offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said he intentionally ran a simplified offense against Idaho. But his motivation was not to confuse future opponent Nebraska. “We had a game plan where a lot of young guys needed to play and we didn’t want them to have to think a whole lot,” Sarkisian said. “(Center) Kris O’Dowd, (wide receiver) David Ausberry, (tailback) Joe McKnight, (fullback) Stanley Havili, (tailback) Stafon Johnson, just to name a few. All those guys played their first games or got their first significant playing time. “We just wanted to give the young guys a chance. We got to see guys in front of live bullets.” Sarkisian said the play calling will be more complex for Nebraska. “We’ll have a nice game plan,” he said. Injury report Pinkard participated in a light practice but said he is day-to-day because of a bone bruise in his knee. It is not the same knee which underwent reconstructive surgery last season. He does not know if he will play against Nebraska. Linebacker Brian Cushing (sprained ankle) said he is able to put pressure on his ankle and thinks he can return to practice next week. “I definitely think I can play,” he said. Wide receiver Patrick Turner (shoulder stinger) said he will be able to play against Nebraska. Tailback Marc Tyler (ankle) was cleared to practice and said he should be able to participate in full contact this week. “My footwork was rusty,” Tyler said. “But I felt real good. It better feel good.” Tyler said USC coaches have not spoken to him about redshirting. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Scott Wolf STAFF WRITER USC announced Tuesday that defensive end Everson Griffen became the first true freshman in 21 years to start at the position in a season opener. What was not announced was the reason Griffen started. According to sources, junior defensive end Kyle Moore was late to a team meeting, and thus, scratched from the starting lineup.