Find Week 4 rankings here.
1. (Last Week: 1) Ohio State (5-0), W - 49-10 vs. Rutgers, Next Week: at Michigan State
The Buckeyes made it look easy against Rutgers on Saturday, putting up 49 points on their way to a blowout win. Running back Miyan Williams stepped up big time with starter TreVeyon Henderson out, rushing for 189 yards and five touchdowns in the win. Ohio State’s defense completely stifled Rutgers’ offense, holding the Scarlet Knights to just 80 passing yards and forcing two turnovers (one fumble, one INT). The Buckeyes and quarterback C.J. Stroud should have a field day this weekend against a porous Michigan State secondary.
#B1GFootball : Miyan Williams, @OhioStateFB— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) October 3, 2022
Rushed for a career-high 189 yards and tied 38- and 48-year-old school records with five rushing touchdowns in OSU's 49-10 win over Rutgers Saturday
️ https://t.co/8ZOE920LF7 pic.twitter.com/MuyAOc32nN
2. (2) Michigan (5-0), W - 27-14 at Iowa, Next Week: at Indiana
Michigan avoided the dreaded upset at Kinnick Stadium with a convincing win over the Hawkeyes on Saturday. The Wolverines controlled this game from start to finish behind a 133-yard and one-touchdown performance from running back Blake Corum. Michigan’s defense held Iowa’s shaky offense scoreless in the first three quarters and had four sacks in the win. It was encouraging to see Michigan look impressive in their first road game of the season, especially at a place that has been a house of horrors for top-five teams in years past.
3. (3) Penn State (5-0), W - 17-7 vs. Northwestern, Next Week: BYE
The Nittany Lions took care of business, albeit in ugly fashion, against Northwestern in a rain-soaked game at Beaver Stadium. The Wildcats put some pressure on the Nittany Lions with an 82-yard touchdown drive late in the third quarter to get within seven, but James Franklin’s team immediately responded with a field goal drive of their own to seal the win.
Penn State turned the ball over five times (four fumbles, one INT) in the game but their defense bailed them out. The Nittany Lions had three takeaways of their own (two fumbles, one INT) and held the Wildcats to just 31 rushing yards on 28 carries. You never want to give a team “a pass” but the weather in this one certainly contributed to Penn State’s turnover woes and overall poor performance. The Nittany Lions are off this weekend before traveling to Michigan on October 15th in a clash of College Football Playoff hopefuls.
4. (5) Maryland (4-1), W - 27-13 vs. Michigan State, Next Week: vs. Purdue
Maryland kept their strong start to the season going on Saturday with a stress-free win over Michigan State. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa had a great game in this one, completing 32 of 41 passes for 314 yards, one touchdown and no picks. Maryland’s defense stepped up in the second half, holding the Spartans scoreless with four punts and a turnover on downs. If the Terps’ defense continues to improve, Mike Locksley’s team could be in the midst of a special season. Maryland will look to avoid a slip-up against Purdue at home tomorrow afternoon.
5. (6) Illinois (4-1), W - 34-10 at Wisconsin, Next Week: vs. Iowa
The Illini made it known they are a legit threat to win the Big Ten West this year with a convincing road win over Wisconsin last weekend. Illinois bullied the Badgers on both sides of ball, scoring 20 points in the second half on their way to a relatively easy win. Running back Chase Brown led the way for Illinois’ offense and finished with 129 rushing yards and one touchdown in the win. Brown now leads the country in rushing yards and has rushed for over 100 yards in all five games this season. Illinois’ defense seems to get better with each passing week, as the Illini had five sacks and picked off Graham Mertz twice. The Illini will look to avoid a home loss to Iowa in an obvious letdown spot for Bret Bielema’s squad.
6. (9) Purdue (3-2), W - 20-10 at Minnesota, Next Week: at Maryland
Quarterback Aidan O’Connell returned after a one-game absence, to lead Purdue to an upset win over a ranked Minnesota team on Saturday. Purdue’s defense stepped up big time in this one, holding Minnesota to just 47 yards rushing (1.8 yards per carry) and forcing three interceptions. This game was a close slugfest all afternoon until two scoring drives in the fourth quarter ultimately sealed the win for Purdue. O’Connell and the Boilermakers will look to keep the momentum going tomorrow when they travel to face Maryland in a game that should have lots of scoring.
7. (4) Minnesota (4-1), L - 20-10 vs. Purdue, Next Week: BYE
The Gophers dropped their first game of the season on Saturday after getting stifled by Purdue. Minnesota struggled running the ball without star running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who missed this game due to an ankle injury. Quarterback Tanner Morgan struggled through the air and threw three interceptions, all of them in Purdue territory, in the loss. Despite Saturday’s result, Minnesota is still a threat to win the West and will use their bye this weekend to get Ibrahim healthy for the rest of the Big Ten schedule.
8. (7) Iowa (3-2), L - 27-14 vs. Michigan, Next Week: at Illinois
Iowa’s defense did their best to keep the Hawkeyes in this game, but the offense let down Kirk Ferentz and company once again in a loss to Michigan. Iowa was held scoreless through three quarters and the Hawkeyes’ rushing attack was almost non-existent on Saturday, as they finished with just 35 rushing yards (1.5 yards per carry) as a team. The Hawkeyes will look to bounce back at Illinois this weekend in a crucial game for the Big Ten West crown.
9. (10) Michigan State (2-3), L - 27-13 at Maryland, Next Week: vs. No. 3 Ohio State
The Spartans’ disappointing start to the season continued on Saturday with a loss at Maryland. Michigan State’s offense struggled to move the ball consistently in the loss, especially in the second half (zero points). Special teams mistakes also doomed Michigan State on Saturday, as Sparty missed a 33-yard field goal and had another one blocked. Unfortunately, the Spartans get Ohio State this weekend in a game where they’ll be lucky to hold the Buckeyes under 40 points.
10. (8) Wisconsin (2-3), L - 34-10 vs. Illinois, Next Week: at Northwestern
The Badgers hit rock bottom on Saturday afternoon and got thoroughly outplayed by former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema’s Illinois team. After a 53-yard touchdown drive on the Badgers’ opening possession, Wisconsin’s offense was almost non-existent the rest of the way. Quarterback Graham Mertz threw two picks and was sacked five times, while the Badgers rushed for just two yards as a team. The Badgers came out with no urgency on Saturday afternoon and simply lost to a better, hungrier team, ultimately costing Paul Chryst his job. Interim head coach Jim Leonhard gets a favorable matchup in his first game in charge, as Wisconsin travels to Evanston to face a terrible Northwestern team this weekend.
11. (11) Rutgers (3-2), L - 49-10 at Ohio State, Next Week: vs. Nebraska
Rutgers jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the Buckeyes after capitalizing on a muffed punt, but it was all downhill from there. The Scarlet Knights then allowed 28 unanswered points and 413 yards of total offense to the high-flying Buckeyes. Rutgers’ offense continued to struggle mightily, as quarterback Evan Simon completed just ten passes for 74 yards and an interception and also lost a fumble. Rutgers will need a better offensive performance Friday night against a Nebraska team that should be able to put up points on the Scarlet Knights.
12. (14) Nebraska (2-3), W - 35-21 vs. Indiana, Next Week: at Rutgers
The Cornhuskers’ earned a much-needed win over Indiana last weekend to keep their bowl eligibility hopes alive. Quarterback Casey Thompson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, while running back Anthony Grant rushed for 136 yards. Grant has been one of the few bright spots for Nebraska this year, as the Florida State transfer has 600 rushing yards on the season, good for sixth-most in the nation. The Cornhuskers’ inconsistent defense came up big in this one, returning a blocked punt for a touchdown and holding Indiana scoreless in the second half. Personally, I don’t think this Nebraska team is as bad as some media members and fans make them out to be...Thompson has been solid under center and if the defense can continue to force turnovers I think this team can go bowling.
BLOCKED PUNT TURNS INTO A TD FOR NEBRASKA (-6.5)pic.twitter.com/QqrZqOk9ob— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 2, 2022
13. (12) Indiana (3-2), L - 35-21 at Nebraska, Next Week: vs. No. 4 Michigan
Indiana went into halftime tied 21-21 with Nebraska, but the offense sputtered in the second half on their way to a loss in Lincoln. Quarterback Connor Bazelak has seen better days, as the Mizzou transfer completed just 50% of his passes for 223 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Indiana’s defense did their best to keep the Hoosiers in this one, but a back-breaking 71-yard touchdown pass by Casey Thompson in the fourth quarter gave Nebraska the lead for good. The Hoosiers will look to shock the world when the host No. 4 Michigan tomorrow afternoon.
14. (13) Northwestern (1-4), L - 17-7 at Penn State, Next Week: vs. Wisconsin
I’ll give the Wildcats credit, they fought hard in Happy Valley on Saturday but just couldn’t get enough going on offense to pull off the upset. This game had heavy rain throughout, which certainly contributed to Northwestern’s three turnovers (two fumbles, one INT) but the Wildcats’ offensive performance left a lot to be desired. However, Northwestern’s defense showed up in this one, holding Penn State to just three points in the second half and forcing five turnovers. Pat Fitzgerald’s teams will always compete hard, but the talent just isn’t there on both sides of the ball this season.