The spotlight finally turns back to the football field this Saturday — where it will hopefully stay for the remainder of the season.Through all of the events that have transpired over one of the crazier weeks at USC in recent memory, my focus, unlike the focus of many, hasn’t been on who the program should hire as its next head coach or whether Athletic Director Pat Haden knowingly appointed an alleged alcoholic to lead his football program.The common denominator here is the well-being of the student-athletes themselves; they should be the central focal point for any coach, athletic administrator, fan or anyone on the outside looking in. Through thick and thin, it should always be about what’s best for the kids.Over the course of this past week, I’ve heard sports talk shows throwing out phrases like “dark times at Troy” and “Bumpy road ahead for USC.” But then I go out on to the practice field and see just a glimpse of light — USC players continuing to play their tails off in every drill and practice segment, while working with each of their teammates to make them better at their respective positions.I’ve spoken to a few players since interim head coach Clay Helton took over, and each of them said that they loved Helton and what he was doing to get the team pumped up and ready to play in a rivalry game against Notre Dame.Ed Orgeron 2.0 is what people surrounding the program are beginning to call Helton, who before stepping into his new role wasn’t known for having much of a personality. He has disproved that initial impression of him, though.If you remember, Orgeron was notorious for providing Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles catering, cookies and taking the team to private movie screenings.On Tuesday, Helton did something similar when he organized a BBQ dinner for the team and staff, where everyone sat down in the same room to watch the new ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Trojan War.”The two may be similar in the methods each of them have used to motivate the team, but Helton has the chance to do something Orgeron didn’t do during his midseason coaching stint: beat the Fighting Irish in South Bend.Interim head coach Clay Helton has replanted the seed and added water, but the light will only shine on his team if the Trojans are able to win in Notre Dame for the first time since 2011.Effectively, the light rests with the hypothetical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and the Irish are the only thing standing in USC’s way.This game has the power to be a turning point in the Trojans season and get to them back in the right direction as they enter the second half of their season, which features solely Pac-12 conference play.Continuing the trend of new beginnings, USC is an underdog going into a game for the first time this season. It seems like the only thing constant right now for this team is change — but it’s the type that should be celebrated.In just the second midseason coaching change in two years, the program is once again experiencing a sense of awakening and freshness that is much-needed after the team’s lackluster performance last Thursday against Washington.It’s a notion of youthful innocence that allows this sensation around the program to come into fruition.Regardless of who the Trojans’ head coach is, these players are going to try and replicate what they’ve learned to do throughout their entire lives: play football at a high level. They’re on the roster at USC for a reason, and that carries two important responsibilities: to be upstanding representatives of the program and win football games.Even though their former head coach seemed to have trouble doing both of those things in recent months, the Trojans now have the opportunity to go out and show the rest of the country that even while dealing with a great deal of adversity, USC is still a force to be reckoned with on the national stage.USC great Keyshawn Johnson said it best at the team’s practice on Thursday.“The world will be watching to see how you respond,” Johnson said. “I want to talk about how you won at Notre Dame.”More than ever, the Trojans need to do just that. At this juncture, it’s the only thing that can save their season.Darian Nourian is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Persian Persuasion,” runs Fridays.