The first week of the college football season answered questions for some teams, but it also raised them for others.
When would Brady Quinn and the Notre Dame offense register a touchdown pass after scoring just 14 points at Georgia Tech? Was an Ohio State defense featuring nine new starters good enough to defend the Buckeyes' No. 1 ranking on the road at No. 2 Texas? When would Mississippi State's offense get on the scoreboard after getting shut out in its opener?
We got some answers on Saturday. Quinn and the Irish offense looked just fine, and the Ohio State defense was plenty good enough to keep the Buckeyes at the top of the polls. The Mississippi State offense? Well ... there's always next week.
Here are some of college football's best and worst performances from Week 2:
Rivals.com Week 2 Top Performers
1. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame quarterback The numbers: 25-of-36 passing, 287 yards, three TDs The result: Notre Dame 41, Penn State 17
The demise of the Notre Dame offense was greatly exaggerated after a pedestrian 14-point performance against Georgia Tech. Quinn's 12-of-16, 150-yard explosion during the second quarter led the way for Notre Dame's rout of the No. 19 Nittany Lions. The Penn State defense admitted it expected more deep throws, but Quinn picked apart the Nittany Lions underneath with seven passes for 72 yards to running back Darius Walker.
2. Troy Smith, Ohio State quarterback The numbers: 17-of-27 passing, 269 yards, two TDs The result: Ohio State 24, Texas 7
In a game between No. 1 and No. 2 amid comparisons to all-world quarterback Vince Young, Smith lived up to the hype. He took capitalized on the absence of suspended Texas cornerback Tarell Brown, helping No. 2 receiver Anthony Gonzalez to eight catches for 142 yards and a touchdown. Ted Ginn Jr. also got his touches with five catches for 97 yards and a score.
3. Ian Johnson, Boise State running back The numbers: 22 carries, 240 yards, five TDs; one reception, 21 yards The result: Boise State 42, Oregon State 14
The Broncos' sophomore stunned the Beavers with a career day. Oregon State jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but Johnson scored five of the Broncos' six unanswered touchdowns. On TD runs of 59, 4, 3, 19 and 50 yards, he broke numerous tackles while outrunning Oregon State defensive backs. The win was Boise's third win in 19 games against BCS conference teams and the first win for a WAC team over a BCS team in 22 games.
4. James Laurinaitis, Ohio State linebacker The numbers: 13 tackles, two forced fumbles, interception The result: Ohio State 24, Texas 7
Laurinaitis helped settle misgivings about the Buckeyes' defense, which lost three players to the first-round of the NFL Draft and six other starters. Texas still averaged 5.5 yards per carry, but Laurinaitis was there to provide game-turning plays. In the first quarter, he forced a Billy Pittman fumble on the goal line that could have been Texas' first TD. In the third quarter, his 23-yard interception return set up the Ohio State offense at Texas' 21.
5. Chris Leak, Florida quarterback The numbers: 19-of-29 passing, 352 yards, four TDs, INT The result: Florida 42, Central Florida 0
After a slow start for Florida's offense against Southern Miss last week, Leak took the reins early against UCF by completing 13 of 19 passes for 265 yards in the first half. A four-year starter, he set a career high with 352 passing yards against the Golden Knights. The interception came on a ball tipped by receiver Cornelius Ingram.
6. Nate Longshore, Cal quarterback The numbers: 22-of-31 passing, 300 yards, four TDs The result: Cal 42, Minnesota 17
7. Virginia Tech defense and special teams The numbers: Four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, blocked punt The result: Virginia Tech 35, North Carolina 10
8. Dennis Kennedy, Akron running back The numbers: 29 carries, 109 yards, three TDs; five receptions, 36 yards; 1-for-1 passing, 24 yards The result: Akron 20, N.C. State 17
9. Drew Stanton, Michigan State quarterback The numbers: 23-of-31 passing, 242 yards, three TDs, INT; nine carries, 38 yards, two TDs The result: Michigan State 52, Eastern Michigan 20
10. Chris Markey, UCLA running back The numbers: 23 carries, 208 yards The result: UCLA 26, Rice 16
Week 1 Goats
1. North Carolina and N.C. State
Basketball season can't come fast enough for these two schools on Tobacco Road. John Bunting's North Carolina team threw four interceptions and had a punt blocked against Virginia Tech. Chuck Amato, whose NC State team fell at home to Akron, did little to remove himself from hot-seat status.
2. Mississippi State's offense
The Bulldogs have been shut out twice and has managed only 322 yards of total offense in two games. Talk about symmetry – against Auburn on Saturday, Mississippi State managed 11 first downs, 79 rushing yards and 82 passing yards. All three marks were identical to the Bulldogs' offense in the opener against South Carolina. MSU's first touchdown could come next week against Tulane. One would hope.
3. Buffalo, Duke and Syracuse
Three teams that were a combined 3-30 last year were painfully close to victories Saturday. Syracuse took Iowa, minus quarterback Drew Tate, to two overtimes, while Bowling Green needed three overtimes to beat Buffalo. Duke led Wake Forest until the final minute and a half of the game. The Blue Devils had a game-winning field goal attempt blocked as time expired.
4. Florida State
How do you erase any good feelings from a win over Miami in the Orange Bowl? Well, trailing Troy in the fourth quarter is a start. The Seminoles had only 60 yards rushing in the game after running for 1 yard against Miami in the opener. Life isn't getting any easier for FSU offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden.
5. Ole Miss quarterback Brent Schaeffer
The heralded junior college transfer struggled in his second game with the Rebels. Against Missouri, he threw three interceptions and was 13-of-29 passing for 90 yards. In addition, he also had only 3 yards rushing on 11 carries. Last week against Memphis, Schaeffer was 7-of-16 for 97 yards.