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September 11, 2006

They said it: Week 2

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Each week Rivals.com will take a look back at the weekend's action in the form of the most important, informative, interesting and/or strange things said by coaches and players.

It was an intriguing Saturday to say the least, and there will be shakeups in the top 10 following No. 1 Ohio State's decisive victory over No. 2 Texas and No. 4 Notre Dame's rout of No. 19 Penn State.

Ninth-ranked FSU and No. 11 Tennessee nearly suffered monumental upsets. N.C. State fell at home to Akron. All of this a week before a Saturday that shapes up as one of the greatest in the history of college football, with seven games next week that match teams currently ranked.

Without further ado, a look at No. 1 vs. No. 2 and more.

They Said It: Week 2
Ohio State 24, Texas 7
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel: "Our special teams were great, our defense was relentless, and our offense didn't make any mistakes. To hold someone to seven points in their stadium incredible."

Texas coach Mack Brown: "We thought they would run the ball more. We had such a focus on (Antonio) Pittman and Troy (Smith) running the ball and stopping (Ted) Ginn that Gonzalez got so many plays, and he didn't miss any. He had sure hands and was open and made great plays. He and Troy were probably the difference in the ballgame."

Tressel: "Troy made a lot of good decisions. When you've got a guy like Troy back there, you feel really good about your chances."

Texas safety Michael Griffin: "We went out there and played our hearts out. We have 85 scholarship players, and all 85 were recruited for a reason. We feel like if somebody goes down, then somebody else needs to step up; you saw when Marcus (Griffin) went down, Eric Jackson stepped up. We could have lost Tarell Brown to an injury; we could have lost him to anything - so you can't look at that. You can't look at it like a distraction; you can't say that's the reason why we lost."
Notre Dame 41, Penn State 17
Irish coach Charlie Weis: "When we tried to run the ball inside early in the game, they were pounding us pretty good. If you saw late, that second drive, we were trying to go inside. I thought at that time, the thing they were doing the best is controlling the line of scrimmage on the inside run. So I just stopped doing that. I mean, I'm not brain dead. If they're doing it, just stop doing it. I figured that the best thing to do is to run outside and play-action over the top of them."

Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno: "I think they outplayed us. We made too many mistakes, we were sloppy. I think also you have to give the Notre Dame kids credit for how alert they were and you have to give the coaching staff credit for how many good things they did. They kept us out of balance most of the game."

Nittany Lions running back Tony Hunt: "It was one of those games where you looked at the scoreboard and you couldn't believe it was the score. We thought we could run the ball today, but they gave us a lot of different looks and mixed up their defense well."

IrishIllustrated.com Senior Editor Tim Prister: "It's amazing how perceptions sway opinions. For example, Notre Dame gained 384 yards against Georgia Tech and it was considered disappointing. Notre Dame gained 397 yards against Penn State and it was considered a mauling. Of course, 297 of those yards came in the first half when Notre Dame slapped Penn State around. If the Irish had indeed followed through on those two field-goal drives, they would have had a four-touchdown lead at halftime."
Tennessee 31, Air Force 30
Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer: "I think they came in here to win the game. It was their call (going for a two-point conversion instead of the tie with 1:35 to play). If they made it, they would have been heroes."

Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry: "It's probably the most disappointing game I've ever been involved in. It's a game that I felt we should have won, a game we could have won."

Fulmer on the Falcons' option rushing attack that produced 281 yards: "I'm standing on the sidelines, and I couldn't tell who had the ball."
Boston College 34, Clemson 33
Tigers coach Tommy Bowden: "You have 33 points and almost 500 yards of total offense, that's a game you need to win. We made some plays today on offense, we moved the football, but there were breakdowns, there was a lack of execution at times, and then you throw in the turnover there near the goal line. You can't have that on the road against a team like Boston College."

EagleAction.com staff writer Sean Stanton: "When Boston College joined the ACC, they were told their yearly 'rivalry game' would be Virginia Tech. There have also been recent talks with Syracuse to come back on the schedule and be BC's last-game-of-the-year rival. But rivalries have a funny way of not really following the rules set forth by the marketers and schedule-makers, and Boston College and Clemson have just found themselves in the midst of what has the makings of a great one."
FSU 24, Troy 17
Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden: "I couldn't believe what they were able to do with us. They deserved to win it as much as we did. They might have deserved it more than we did, but it didn't happen."
Akron 20, NC State 17
Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato: "If I had to do it all over again I'd do the same thing (eschew a short field goal to go for a fourth-and-1 inside the Akron 5 with about a minute to play). Why? In my wildest dreams I never thought they could have gone 96 (yards). I didn't think it was a gamble."
Alabama 13, Vanderbilt 10
Commodores running back Cassen Jackson-Garrison: "I'm kind of speechless. It hurts. We were so close. We had led this game the entire time. We just needed a little more time to pull it out. Hopefully we can just figure out what we did wrong and come out next week and play hard."
Florida 42, UCF 0
Gators senior receiver Jemalle Cornelius: "That was one of the best displays of offense since I've been around here. That's the way it's supposed to be. It's a lot of fun."

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