Leadership shows the way 

September, 23, 2012
The week leading up to the Cal game was an unexpectedly rocky one for the Trojans. The hangover from the tough loss to Stanford, press conference issues and the uncertain injury status of some key players made things a little unsteady in what suddenly was a very important game.

[+] EnlargeT.J. McDonald
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireSafety T.J. McDonald is one of the USC leaders who helped get the team back on track against Cal.
The Trojans needed a win against Cal. They needed to regain their momentum as they headed into a bye week. A loss, or even a close win without playing well, would have taken things down a different path.

Prior to the season, one of the discussion points about the Trojans was about how they would fare once they faced some adversity. One of the common answers was that the veteran leaders of the team would step up to steady the ship if that were to happen. The Stanford loss certainly gave an opportunity to test that theory, and the Cal game provided an answer in resounding fashion.