Oxford boss Chris Wilder was delighted for man-of-the-match Deane Smalley, after the much-maligned striker's brace dispatched Plymouth 2-1.
Smalley's two goals in three minutes midway through the first half kept Oxford top of League Two and made it three wins out of three.
And they head to Leeds in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night in a confident frame of mind, having also knocked League One Bournemouth out of that competition.
Smalley had a torrid time in front of goal last season, managing just two goals in 29 games for the U's and being sent out to Bradford on loan.
But he took his chances superbly in this match.
Wilder said: "Deane will be disappointed not to have a hat-trick because he missed the easiest one just before half-time.
``But the boys were all delighted for him because he had a bad time last season - of his own making - but he wants to make a fresh start.''
Plymouth manager Carl Fletcher left no-one in any doubt that he blamed his defence for the defeat.
He said: "We let ourselves down defensively in the first half.
"We were not where we needed to be at the back. With the ball we were really good and we battled well in the second half."