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September 4, 2006

They Said It: Week 1


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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.

We'll bring you what was said about the big games, and we may dabble into the obscure. We also will have a few interesting takes from our Rivals.com site publishers who were on the scene.

This week, the biggest game with the most intriguing result took place in Knoxville, Tenn., where No. 23 Tennessee blasted No. 9 Cal. The Vols, who were coming off a 5-6 season, so thoroughly decimated the Golden Bears that it's not hard to imagine them swapping places in the rankings. Here's a sampling from that one, and a handful of other games:

The Said It: Week 1
1. Tennessee 35, Cal 18
Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge: "I think we've felt disrespected and talked bad about since last season, as we expected. We would expect nothing else after going 5-6 at the University of Tennessee. But as good as I think we are and can be, we all felt disrespected.

"This game (Saturday) wasn't just for Tennessee versus California. It was for the South versus the West Coast, the SEC versus the Pac-10, and we took that to heart. We were on the field pre-game, and they were screaming 'Pac-10.' We took that personally."

Tennessee receiver Robert Meachem: "I tell Erik (Ainge, the Vols quarterback) all the time, just go to high school, have fun. When you go back to thinking about your high school days, you get to thinking, 'Man, I was really good.' But you have times in college where you can get a little shaky. When he goes back to high school, you can see the difference."

Rob Lewis of Volquest.com: "There's no doubting that this one felt good, coming as it did on the heels of the head coach's only losing season in his career. The fact (Phillip) Fulmer has seen his name pop up on all those preseason 'hot-seat' lists probably also added something to the measure of righteous satisfaction he took from the most impressive win his team has delivered in going on two years."

Notre Dame 14, Georgia Tech 10
Tim Prister of Irish Illustrated.com: "Is Notre Dame overrated? I can see that as a posted ESPN question right now. And the answer is yeah, sure, they're a bit overrated. They don't have a legitimate major college performer at Sam linebacker. Their kicking situation is spotty. Their best pass rush comes from the tackles, not the ends. Their lack of proven depth in certain areas shows.

"But in the end, the better coaching staff—the better head coach—prevailed in a game that all things being equal, probably should have been won by the home team."

Oklahoma 24, UAB 17
Carey Murdock of SoonerScoop.com: "The Sooners did end up in a dogfight partly due to their defense, but also due to the Sooners' inability to finish drives on offense.

"Penalties, turnovers and dropped passes all contributed to several misfires for the OU offense, which appeared to be more than capable under (new QB Paul) Thompson."

Pitt 38, Virginia 13
Virginia coach Al Groh: "We're very disappointed. Embarrassed. To allow four one-play touchdowns makes it impossible for our offense to overcome. Pitt's star players played like stars tonight. We did not have any stars."
Alabama 25, Hawaii 17
Travis Reier of BamaOnline.com: "In watching Leigh Tiffin bang home three field goals in the same venue that hosted his father (former Tide kicker Van Tiffin) some 20 years ago, I enjoyed the trip down memory lane as much as anyone. It's just that I was always a bigger fan of Van Tiffin's extra points than field goals – especially when red-zone opportunities are involved."
Iowa State 45, Toledo 43
Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney: "It's great to be 1-0 but we hope and pray that we're one of the most improved teams in the country between now and UNLV."



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