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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 3 Recap

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Michigan State, Maryland and Illinois get upset in a rough week for the Big Ten.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Find Week 2’s rankings here.

1. (Last Week: 1) Ohio State (3-0), W - 51-10 at Indiana, Next Week: vs. Miami (OH)

Another week, another dominating Buckeyes win. Running back J.K. Dobbins ran for 193 yards and quarterback Justin Fields added three passing touchdowns in Ohio State’s 51-10 beatdown of Indiana. The Buckeyes have looked just as unstoppable under new head coach Ryan Day through three weeks; Miami (Ohio) comes to Columbus this week.

2. (2) Wisconsin (2-0), BYE, Next Week: vs. No. 11 Michigan

The Badgers had the week off as they prepared for a showdown with No. 11 Michigan this weekend. The Badgers will look to avenge their 38-13 loss from last season when the Wolverines come to Madison on Saturday.

3. (3) Penn State (3-0), W - 17-10 vs. Pitt, Next Week: BYE

In a week that saw five Big Ten teams go down, credit to the Nittany Lions for pulling out a 17-10 win over Pitt. Pat Narduzzi’s team played Penn State close throughout and had a chance to send the game into overtime as time expired, but Kenny Pickett’s 26 yard pass attempt fell incomplete. Penn State’s defense bailed out the offense in this one, holding Pitt to just 24 yards rushing and sacking Pickett three times. The Nittany Lions have a bye this week before traveling to Maryland.

4. (6) Michigan (2-0), BYE, Next Week: at No. 13 Wisconsin

Michigan had a much-needed bye, coming off a close overtime win over Army last week. The Wolverines travel to Madison to take on No. 13 Wisconsin this weekend in a game that should tell us a lot about both Big Ten title contenders.

5. (7) Iowa (3-0), W - 18-17 at Iowa St., Next Week: BYE

The Hawkeyes squeaked out an 18-17 road victory over rival Iowa State, giving Kirk Ferentz’s team their fifth straight win over the Cyclones. In a game that was delayed by weather twice for almost three total hours, Iowa’s defense made a huge fourth down stop late in the fourth quarter and were aided by an Iowa State muffed punt with 1:29 left in the game. The Hawkeyes showed tons of fight in this road rivalry game and they look like the biggest threat to Wisconsin in the Big Ten West.

6. (11) Northwestern (1-1), W - 30-14 vs. UNLV, Next Week: vs. Michigan St.

Coming off a bye, Pat Fitzgerald’s team forced three turnovers and rushed for 276 yards in a much-needed 30-14 win over UNLV. The Rebels hung around in the game until late in the third quarter, when a 50 yard touchdown catch by wide receiver JJ Jefferson effectively put the game away for Northwestern. Freshman running back Drake Anderson was a bright spot for the Wildcats, finishing with 141 rushing yards and a touchdown. Northwestern will begin their Big Ten West title defense when Michigan State visits Evanston on Saturday.

7. (13) Nebraska (2-1), W - 44-8 vs. Northern Illinois, Next Week: at Illinois

Nebraska’s offense finally got back on track in their 44-8 blowout of Northern Illinois. Quarterback Adrian Martinez threw for 257 yards, two touchdowns and rushed for another score as the Cornhuskers bounced back from their disappointing loss to Colorado last week. Scott Frost’s offense totaled 525 yards and the one-two running back punch of Dedrick Mills and Maurice Washington (179 total rushing yards) is a sign of good things to come for the Huskers’ offense.

8. (4) Michigan State (2-1), L - 10-7 vs. Arizona St., Next Week: at Northwestern

After a too many men on the field penalty negated a game tying field goal, the Spartans lost at home to Arizona State 10-7 on Saturday night. Michigan State out-gained the Sun Devils 404 to 216, but could never capitalize with points, as kicker Matt Coghlin missed three field goals. Coghlin actually made a game tying 42 yard field goal, before a penalty pushed the Spartans back five yards; Coghlin missed the 47 yard retry and the Sun Devils came away with the win. The Spartans will look for a better all-around performance this weekend when they travel to Northwestern for their Big Ten opener.

9. (9) Minnesota (3-0), W - 35-32 vs. Georgia Southern, Next Week: BYE

Somehow, someway Minnesota is 3-0 on the year. After Georgia Southern scored two fourth quarter touchdowns on a blocked field goal and fumble recovery, the Golden Gophers fell behind 35-32 with 3:47 left in the game. Quarterback Tanner Morgan then led the Gophers on a game winning 13-play, 75 yard drive, capped off by wide receiver Tyler Johnson’s third touchdown catch of the day. Minnesota could very easily be 0-3, but P.J. Fleck and company have found ways to win their first three games late in the fourth quarter.

10. (5) Maryland (2-1), L - 20-17 at Temple, Next Week: BYE

After putting up 142 points through two weeks, the Terrapins were completely shutdown in a disappointing 20-17 loss at Temple. Maryland got off to a slow start when Quarterback Josh Jackson threw an interception on their first possession and the Terps were never able to get it going on offense. Jackson was pressured all game, sacked four times, and the Terps were stuffed at the goal line twice late in the fourth quarter. Maryland will have plenty to work on as they head into their bye week.

11. (10) Purdue (1-2), L - 34-13 vs. TCU, Next Week: BYE

In what was supposed to be a breakout year for Purdue, Jeff Brohm’s team has been an utter disappointment through three weeks. The Boilermakers had no answers for TCU’s rushing attack in a 34-13 defeat in West Lafayette. The Horned Frogs finished with 346 rushing yards in what was a thoroughly dominant performance by their offensive line. Purdue was without their starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar, and backup Jack Plummer looked unimpressive, throwing for just 181 yards and two interceptions. The Boilermakers are 1-2 on the season heading into a bye week.

12. (12) Indiana (2-1), L - 51-10 vs. Ohio St., Next Week: vs. UConn

The Hoosiers were completely overmatched in a 51-10 home loss to No. 6 Ohio State. Starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was a last second scratch because of an undisclosed injury, but even Penix couldn’t have saved Indiana from this blowout. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey threw for only 162 yards and turned the ball over twice (1 INT, 1 Fumble), while the Hoosiers could only muster 42 yards on the ground. Indiana simply had no answer for Ohio State’s high powered offense but they’ll look to get back in the win column when UConn visits Bloomington this weekend.

13. (8) Illinois (2-1), L - 34-31 vs. Eastern Michigan, Next Week: vs. Nebraska

The Illini had a chance to put themselves in a great position to earn a bowl berth if they could beat Eastern Michigan. Instead, Lovie Smith’s squad lost to a MAC team 34-31 at home and fell to 2-1 on the year. Kicker Chad Ryland made a 24 yard field goal as time expired to give the Eagles their third win against a Big Ten team in as many years (beat Rutgers in 2017, Purdue in 2018). This loss made it clear that Smith and the Illini still have a long way to go until they are even a respectable team in the Big Ten.

14. (14) Rutgers (1-1), BYE, Next Week: vs. Boston College

Rutgers had a bye this week. The Scarlet Knights will look to win their second game of the year when Boston College visits New Brunswick on Saturday afternoon.