Sept. 20, 2003: OSU 52, SMU 6: Further positioning Woods and the program for the spotlight, the Cowboys turned a nondescript game into an attention-grabber. Woods broke a 34-year-old Division I record with seven TD catches.
Oct. 11, 2003: OSU 38, Kansas State 34. The Cowboys ended a nine-game losing streak to the Wildcats and avenged the beating inflicted a year before in Manhattan. It was the marquee victory in what became a seven-game winning streak.
Jan. 2, 2004: Ole Miss 31, OSU 28. The Cowboys lost, but in an entertaining shootout to the Eli Manning-led Rebels in the Cotton Bowl. It was significant, too, as OSU made its first post-New Year bowl appearance since 1949.
Sept. 4, 2004: OSU 31, UCLA 20. In the opener of his first major rebuilding year, Miles followed up a summer of muscling up for the Bruins with a beatdown in the Rose Bowl. The Cowboys attempted just eight passes behind first-time starter Donovan Woods, playing bruiser ball instead. They ran for 426 yards, with Vernand Morency going for 261 and two scores. The season would be up and down, yet OSU still finished at 7-5 with another bowl appearance.