It is a phrase often used to identify a big victory for a beleaguered team or coach and one that Lane Kiffin has been searching for since he returned to Los Angeles.
Well, he finally found it.
Though it wasn't easy, USC's 31-17 victory over nine point favorite Notre Dame was convincing, and for Kiffin and his Trojans, they finally shed the "can't win a big game" monkey in front of a national television audience and a packed house in South Bend.
Best of all for the Trojans, it was a complete team effort, one that was led by the unlikeliest of heroes.
Fueled by a potent running game that had been in hibernation for most of the season and a suddenly stout and opportunistic defense, USC ripped the hearts out of a throng of towel waving Irish fans as the Trojans easily played their best game of the year.
But how did the Trojans rise so completely to the occasion?
What units did their job and what about those (if any) who didn't?
Here is the Trojans report card for this first game of the second half of the season.
Some (me) had questioned when Matt Barkley would get his very own "signature victory" for the Trojans in an important game for USC.
Others (me again) wondered if Barkley could lead USC in a close game when the Trojans really needed him.
I wonder no more.
Barkley led and helped win this game in a myriad of ways, with his arm, head and even his legs.
Passing to nine different receivers while posting a 24-for-35, 224 yards and three touchdown ledger, Barkley shrugged off the towel waving fanatics and a fierce Irish rush to break the collective South Bend hearts in the first night game there in 21 years.
Hell, Barkley even made like Cam Newton and picked up a couple of first downs rushing when nothing else was available for him.
Though not perfect, he was pretty damn close.
What does grit and desire look like?
Take a gander at the Trojans new "two headed monster" running back tandem of Marc Tyler and Curtis McNeal.
Tyler, who nursed a separated shoulder all week ran for 67 yards on 13 carries and McNeal, that little bowling ball of a back, went for 118 yards on 24 carries to salt the game away when the Trojans needed to chew up the clock.
Altogether, the Trojans rushed for 219 yards against an Irish defense that was supposed to expose this area as a weakness for USC.
Instead, it was McNeal and Tyler who ran the ball down Notre Dame's throat from the moment they stepped on to the field.
In doing so, they opened up the passing game for Barkley and company as the Irish could not key on USC's aerial attack.
If McNeal and Tyler can keep this up the rest of the season, they will present major problems for the opponents remaining on the Trojans schedule.
Welcome back, Robert Woods.
Woods, USC's all-everything flanker, had an uncharacteristically quiet game against Cal last week with only five catches, so he and quarterback Matt Barkley decided to spend some extra time together preparing for the Irish.
It paid off.
Woods caught 12 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns against Notre Dame as he clearly showed that it was he, not the Irish's Michael Floyd who was the best receiver on the field Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, eight other receivers were also the recipients of Barkley's darts and collectively they caught another 12 passes including Randall Telfer's touchdown snag.
If Saturday's game was a sign of things to come, this season might turn out pretty nicely for the men of Troy.
Because in this affair, USC's supposed "weak link," the offensive line, was anything but weak.
Exerting their will for the tough yards on the ground, the "big uglies" opened some huge holes for McNeal and Tyler to waltz through and it was their yeoman effort in establishing the ground game that opened up things for Barkley and company in the air.
And they did without committing any silly penalties either.
Like the tailbacks, if the Trojans young o-line can play this way for the rest of the year, the Trojans will be a tough out for those left on their schedule.
The only thing keeping this grade from being an "A" is that Barkley was often under duress in the passing game although he was never sacked.
Here is another unit that has underperformed all season for the Trojans.
Until Saturday evening that is.
Completely removing Notre Dames vaunted rushing attack from the equation, the defensive line gave their position coach, Ed Orgeron, plenty to celebrate about all game long.
When everything was said and done, the Irish had run for a paltry 41 yards on 14 attempts and Notre Dame turned into a one dimensional team.
And lets not forget that once you remove the George Atkinson kickoff return, this unit was part of a defense that held Notre Dame to just 10 points.
Pretty impressive performance from a much maligned unit.
The only thing keeping this unit from an "A" was a lack of pressure on Irish quarterback Tommy Rees.
The Trojans linebackers, led by Chris Galippo, had a nice but not overwhelming game against the Irish.
Part of the stalwart effort by the front seven who bottled up Notre Dame's run game, Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard joined Galippo in providing a steady but not spectacular influence in keeping most of the plays in front of them.
In doing so, Galippo even had a big fumble recovery on a backwards pass that Cierre Wood let slip through his hands.
However, Irish tight end Tyler Eifert had seven receptions for 66 yards and there were several other pass plays underneath that made Trojan fans nervous for most of the game.
With the Irish rushing attack stymied, you knew that the Trojan secondary would be under fire all game long, and they were.
And you had to think that Notre Dame's All-American wide receiver Michael Floyd would have a huge game against the Trojans diminutive cornerback, Nickell Robey.
After holding Floyd to four catches for 28 measly yards, Robey became the poster boy for all small athletes everywhere.
Oh, and for good measure, he tacked on a big interception in the fourth quarter when the Irish were still entertaining notions of a comeback.
Take away the tight end and running back contributions to the Notre Dame passing attack and the defensive backfield only allowed a total of 61 yards to Tommy Rees and company.
Also, not to be forgotten, was newly starting cornerback Isaiah Wiley who gave the Trojans a physical presence at cornerback and Jawanza Starling who returned a fumble for an 80-yard touchdown at a critical juncture of the game.
The shakiest unit by far on that chilly South Bend evening was the group that had been the most consistent all year long for the men of Troy.
To be sure, the special teams were anything but in giving up a crucial kickoff return for a touchdown just before the end of the second half that gave the Irish a fleeting moment of hope that they could come back on a Trojan team that had been much the best until that play.
And then there was punter Kyle Negrete's 22 yard punt average, although to be fair, there were only two punts and one was designed to pin the Irish deep in their own territory.
Of more concern to the Trojans is the injury to place kicker Andre Heidari who went 1-for-2 in field goals while missing what normally would be a chip shot for him at a critical juncture in the game.
As stated in the introductory slide, Lane Kiffin needed this win.
And in finally getting it, Kiffin completely out-coached his Irish counterpart, Brian Kelly.
By establishing a running game for the first time this year, Kiffin baffled the Irish with a unit whose production opened everything else up for the Trojans.
Kiffin set the tone for the game by using the run to stuff the ball down the Irish' throat on the opening series and he did not let up until allowing the clock to run out while perched on Notre Dame's 2-yard line to end the game.
Meanwhile, Monte Kiffin and his defensive staff crafted a great game plan which held the Irish to 41 yards on the ground and 267 overall.
Okay AP, now keep the Trojans out of your top 25.
At 6-1 and with a ton of momentum as they continue into the teeth of their second half schedule, USC can now point to a quality win to hush the naysayers.
What critics should remember is that this is a very young Trojan team and improvement can and will come as the season progresses.
Now seven games into 2011, USC is showing maturity in the areas that were in question.
As the offensive line begins to gel and the defense finds its way, the Trojans are on the cusp of making this season special.
Though the cynical will say that one game—even a win on the road at Notre Dame—doesn't make a season, it is a beginning.
And one the Trojans had to have if they want to build a memorable 2011.
Overall Grade: A-