In 2003, Orton was named the "Most Fearless Quarterback in the Big Ten Conference" by The Sporting News and was tabbed the "Most Accurate Passer, Strongest Arm and Coolest in the Clutch" in the Big Ten by Lindy's magazine. Kyle was named to the Davey O'Brien Award watch list (nation's outstanding quarterback) as he completed 251-of-414 passes (60.6 percent) for 2,885 yards with 15 touchdowns and only seven interceptions (interception percentage of 1.69 set a school record). He tied a school bowl record with two rushing touchdowns vs. Georgia in the Capital One Bowl, despite suffering a dislocated left thumb, sprained toe and cracked rib in that game, prompting head coach Joe Tiller to say it was "one of the two truly courageous performances I've seen in all my years of coaching." ... The 2004 season began with Orton being the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. He threw for 1,367 yards, 17 touchdowns and no interceptions through the team's first four games before turnovers and injuries would see his senior campaign experience a big roadblock. A hip injury saw Kyle get benched vs. Northwestern and then sit out the next contest vs. Iowa. He returned in the fourth quarter of the Ohio State game, then set a school record the following week when he totaled 503 yards in the Indiana contest.