I couldn't sleep last night, so I randomly decided to look up some of the football games we played against USC in the past 10 years. Do you guys remember the 2004 game? It had been a while so I forgot some of the details. But it caught my eye as being one of the closer games (next to the one in 2000) before the 2006 victory. Here's the youtube link:
At the 37:43 mark, you'll see where bad officiating is such a huge frustration. We lost a touchdown because of a bad ref call. Had that not happened, we would have beaten them. I know the last decade or so prior to CJM were frustrating at best, but I know our guys always worked hard against USC and I would say this is one of those games considering that Reggie Bush was in the picture at the time.