No. 1 Ohio State proved it belonged atop the rankings with a 38-17 rout of No. 13 Iowa on the road.
Meanwhile, No. 2 Auburn and No. 3 USC struggled mightily on the road against unranked teams. The Tigers escaped 24-17 only when South Carolina dropped a potential game-tying touchdown in the final minutes, and the Trojans hung on for a 28-22 decision at Washington State.
One team that continues to impress is the Buckeyes' chief rival Michigan, which beat Minnesota 28-14 and reclaimed the Little Brown Jug. Mario Manningham is on a tear, and the Wolverines defense has played as well as any unit in the country.
With that said, let's take a look at what else was said about this weekend's games by the players and coaches involved.
Said It: Week 5
Ohio State 38, Iowa 17
Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith: "I think if there's a guy
in the locker room who said that we weren't the No. 1 team in the
nation, he'd have a problem with me. You have to have that kind of
attitude, that kind of swagger."
Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel: "He (Smith) was in command the
whole game. I thought he was one of the elite ones (in the nation)
before this game. But he keeps getting better."
Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz: "By my vantage point, this is
the best they've played all year. This wasn't an easy one to walk into
as a visitor."
USC 28, Washington State 22
Trojans coach Pete Carroll: "It's a different game than
we've been in in a while; one that called on a lot of guys to come
through. Steve Smith just rose to the occasion. He had a fantastic
football game. He made tough catches, great catches, got open well. He
just had a terrific game."
Cougars quarterback Alex Brink: "It is tough to know we
were right there, we had opportunities and if we didn't make a few
mistakes, maybe put up a touchdown or two instead of those field goals
when we were in the red zone, that is tough. We were right there."
Auburn 24, South Carolina 17
Tigers cornerback David Irons: "Man, it was scary. It felt
like the LSU game all over again. We knew that they were going to go to
Sidney Rice on that last play, and I had faith in Pat Lee. It was the
toughest game they have played all season. They gave it to us."
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier after Auburn held the ball the
entire third quarter with the help of an onside kick: "The third
quarter killed us. I'm going to stop talking about it. I don't know
what we need to do. We may blitz the first five plays in the third
quarter from now on and either stop them or let them score."
Bryan Matthews of AuburnSports.com:
"Tuberville is not concerned about impressing the poll voters. He's
concerned about winning games and getting his team to November with a
shot at an SEC and national championship. And he doesn't think AU or
any SEC team should be thought lesser of for winning a conference game
on the road, whatever the margin."
Georgia Tech 38, Virginia Tech 27
Hokies coach Frank Beamer: "The things we did tonight,
we'd have a hard time beating a bad football team. And they're not a
bad football team. They're really good. Everything that went good for
us last year (in a 51-7 win) went good for them this year. But I feel
like we helped the situation for them and they didn't need our help."
Yellow Jackets coach Chan Gailey: "The key is to make sure
that you build on this. That's our job. That's our goal, is to build on
this. Our guys have a lot of belief in where they want to be and what
it takes to get there."
Florida 28, Alabama 13
Gators coach Urban Meyer: "I always get the question,
'What have you learned about the SEC?' You better have a great defense
because everybody else does. … It's no secret that we have some very
good players on defense."
Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson: "Any time you throw
three interceptions, it's tough to win. I put it on myself. I've got to
bounce back from that and get ready for next week. We can make a lot of
excuses. I didn't make plays I needed to make."
Michigan 28, Minnesota 14
Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr: "This schedule has been
as challenging as any I remember. I'm just really proud of the way our
guys have approached that schedule, because they were good teams. What
you know as a coach is that you have to prove yourself every week.
That's hard, because what you'd really like to do is enjoy some of the
games. This was a tough, physical, hard-hitting football game."
Chris Balas of TheWolverine.com:
"On a weekend in which several of the nation's supposed top teams
struggled, including Auburn, Florida and USC, the Wolverines took care
of business in a game that probably wasn't as close as it appeared."
Notre Dame 35, Purdue 21
Irish coach Charlie Weis: "Sometimes you give up yards,
but yards can be misleading. Sometimes yards are garbage yards, too.
For the most part, the game looked like it was pretty well under
control at 35-14."
Tim Prister of IrishIllustrated.com:
"The Irish will spend the next two months trying to live down a
schedule that, if spread out over the course of the season, wouldn't be
subjected to as much scrutiny and mockery. Put Navy, North Carolina and
Army at the front end and no one would argue. Distributed the way it
is, however, Weis will be expected to apologize every time they
pulverize an opponent."
Oregon 48, Arizona State 13
Sun Devils coach Dirk Koetter: "I apologize to our fans.
We should be paying them for making them sit through that."
Ducks defensive end Dexter Manley II, who had three sacks:
"I'm never satisfied. I work hard in practice every day and today
it paid off. As a team on defense we were able to dominate the
line and really put some pressure on the quarterback. I just
focused on beating my man and it helped the team."