Sophomore Cody Kessler is keeping the quarterback competition alive with solid play this spring. He's one of a handful of players who have impressed in spring ball.
For all the talk of unfinished business, last year's USC story lacked a happy ending. Now the program begins a new chapter hoping for better.
None of the six former Trojans auditioning at the scouting combine blew the NFL's doors off, but there were some positive developments nonetheless.
Matt Barkley leads a roster of six former USC players heading to Indianapolis this week for the NFL's annual scouting combine.
With six defensive recruits visiting next week, it's crucial for USC and Lane Kiffin to name a defensive coordinator as soon as possible.
After Monday's 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl finished a 7-6 season, USC is more than happy to leave a disappointing 2012 behind.
Getting to play in a bowl game allows USC an extra set of December practices that could pay big dividends for young players in 2013.
There are a lot of questions facing USC in 2013, including the play of Max Wittek, Robert Woods' decision to stay or enter the NFL draft and Lane Kiffin's coaching hot seat.
Notre Dame's ability to master the details, and USC's inability to take care of the little things, is why the Irish are going to the national title game and the Trojans have a fifth loss.
At the Coliseum on Saturday, USC fans will pay tribute to a senior class that has seen its share of ups and downs.
USC fans hoped the issues the Trojans showed early in the season would eventually fix themselves, but USC's loss to UCLA, its fourth this season, served to further expose those shortcomings.
There will be more than bragging rights on the line when USC and UCLA square off on Saturday. It's reminiscient of 2002, when the Trojans scored a decisive victory.
A big win over Arizona State, led by the beleaguered defense, has USC feeling good heading into a huge showdown with rival UCLA.
USC's offensive stars in their part in a 38-17 win over Arizona State, but it was the surprisingly dominate play of the defense that really shined.
Still reeling from losses to Arizona and Oregon, the USC Trojans must brace for fresh challenges from high-scoring Arizona State and UCLA.
After coming up short against Oregon on Saturday, USC can only hope to see Oregon again in the Pac-12 title game.