Originally created 09/22/03

Woods' 7 TD catches sets Division I record



DALLAS -- As the touchdown receptions started piling up, especially after he scored three on consecutive snaps, Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods wondered whether he might be headed for a record.

Then he figured the mark must be pretty high.

"I thought it was like 10 or something," he said.

Actually, the Division I record was six, and Woods had five by halftime Saturday night against SMU. Because he'd already broken the school record of four, Woods figured he was headed to the bench.

Then coach Les Miles told him he could play two more series.

That was all Woods needed.

Woods capped the Cowboys' first drive of the third quarter with a 5-yard reception in the left side of the end zone to match the Division I mark record set 34 years ago by Tim Delaney of San Diego State.

Just over eight minutes later, he took sole possession by hauling in an 11-yard fade along the right edge of the end zone.

"I didn't know until I did it," Woods said. "Coach didn't tell me or even hint."

Woods actually got off to a slow start, missing four deep balls on the opening drive, with several drops. Then he took some potassium pills and drank lots of water to help fight the humidity.

He started loosening up by catching a 2-yard TD pass in traffic. Then came a 10-yarder, followed 34- and 32-yarders on Oklahoma State's next two plays. SMU fell for a fake handoff on the 32-yarder and again on his next one, a 25-yarder on third-and-1.

Two of his best catches set up his final two touchdowns. There was a 30-yarder on the Cowboys' first play of the third quarter, then a 49-yarder between two defenders to set up the record-breaker.

Woods finished with 13 catches for 232 yards, both career bests. The yardage is a school record, topping the 226 he had against Oklahoma last season. The seven TDs was two more than any Cowboy had ever scored - two more than Barry Sanders ever had - and the 42 points were another first.

Josh Fields threw all seven touchdown passes, giving him a school record and tying the Big 12 mark. While Fields' passes weren't always perfect spirals, they were all in or right near the end zone.

He had only four other completions for 33 yards to other receivers, and one went for 22 yards to D'Juan Woods, Rashaun's younger brother.

Oklahoma State won 52-6 for its third straight lopsided victory since losing to Nebraska in the opener and falling out of the top 25. The Cowboys were No. 24 in the preseason.

The Mustangs (0-3) are more than a footnote. They were more like willing accomplices as coach Phil Bennett was so concerned about stopping the run that he rarely double-covered Woods.

"They let us throw the ball like we were playing catch," Oklahoma State offensive lineman Sam Mayes said.

Miles said he understood what Bennett was doing. He also felt that made it OK to keep going to Woods.

"Had the game dictated we not throw, we wouldn't have done so," Miles said. "But it was still fair game to throw."

SMU's relaxed coverage provided a rare treat for Woods, who has been targeted by defenses since he was a sophomore.

"I haven't been single-covered in a while," said Woods, Oklahoma State's career leader in yards receiving and TD catches. "It's nice to get single-covered again."

The one-on-one matchup was usually against Jonas Rutledge, an all-WAC cornerback two years ago. He blamed himself for getting "into a personal battle with Woods."

"I tried to be too physical with Woods at the line, and I didn't follow the defensive schemes," said Rutledge, who appeared to give up far more than the listed two inches and zero pounds to the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Woods.

Rutledge was in the vicinity on the first score. He was even flagged for interference on the second and third touchdowns and still couldn't stop No. 82.

"The defensive pass interference calls got into my head," Rutledge said. "It bothered me because you think you are playing sound defense and then it gets called."