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Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 3

Penn State impresses at Auburn, Maryland sneaks past SMU and Indiana survives in overtime.

Find Week 2 rankings here.

1. (Last Week: 1) Ohio State (3-0), W - 77-21 vs. Toledo, Next Week: vs. Wisconsin

The Buckeyes got one more glorified scrimmage in against Toledo before they open conference play this weekend. Quarterback C.J. Stroud put on a passing clinic in the blowout win, finishing with 367 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. The Buckeyes also rushed for 6.4 yards per carry as a team and had three 100+ yard receivers in the game. Ryan Day’s team will get a much tougher test this Saturday when Wisconsin comes to town.

2. (3) Penn State (3-0), W - 41-12 at Auburn, Next Week: vs. Central Michigan

The Nittany Lions move up one spot this week after an impressive SEC road win at Auburn. Penn State was just the better team in this one, holding the Tigers to only 3.3 yards per carry and forcing four turnovers (2 INTs, 2 fumbles) in the win. True freshman running back Nick Singleton continues to impress for the Nittany Lions and finished with 124 yards and two touchdowns on just ten carries. James Franklin and company will get a more favorable matchup this weekend when they host Central Michigan.

3. (2) Michigan (3-0), W - 59-0 vs. UConn, Next Week: vs. Maryland

Michigan falls to third this week mainly because of how easy their non-conference schedule has been (Colorado State, Hawaii, UConn), but the Wolverines looked dominant in their win over the Huskies. Newly named QB1 J.J. McCarthy didn’t have to do much in this one, as running back Blake Corum lead the way for the Wolverines’ offense with five rushing touchdowns. There wasn’t a lot to digest from this game, as Michigan jumped out to a 38-0 halftime lead and put on cruise control in the second half. After three easy wins to start the year, it will be very interesting to see how the Wolverines look against Maryland and their explosive offense this Saturday.

4. (5) Minnesota (3-0), W - 49-7 vs. Colorado, Next Week: at Michigan State

The Golden Gophers ran all over Colorado this past Saturday on their way to a blowout win in Minneapolis. Running back Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 100-plus yards for the third straight game, finishing with 202 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. Minnesota’s defense also flexed their muscles in the game, holding the Buffaloes scoreless in the first three quarters while starters were still playing. Although the schedule has been weak to start, Minnesota has played like the best team in the Big Ten West through three weeks. The Gophers will be on the road this weekend for the first time this season in a tough matchup against Michigan State.

5. (6) Maryland (3-0), W - 34-27 vs. SMU, Next Week: at No. 4 Michigan

The Terrapins nearly costed themselves a win by committing 15 penalties and coughing up two fumbles against SMU, but Mike Locksley and company found a way to get it done in College Park. Maryland once again had no issues moving the ball, as quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman running back Roman Hemby is becoming a rising star for the Terps and finished with 151 rushing yards and a touchdown in the win. We’ll find out if Maryland is for real this weekend when they travel to face No. 4 Michigan in the Big House.

6. (4) Michigan State (2-1), L - 39-28 at Washington, Next Week: vs. Minnesota

Credit to the Spartans for playing a true road game in Seattle, but it wasn’t a pretty day for Mel Tucker and company. Michigan State fell behind 22-0 in the first half, as the Huskies and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. moved the ball through the air at will. As a team, Sparty allowed 397 passing yards and forced no turnovers in the loss. The Spartans scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to get to within 11 points, but it was too little too late. Michigan State will look to bounce back with a home win against undefeated Minnesota this upcoming weekend.

7. (8) Wisconsin (2-1), W - 66-7 vs. New Mexico State, Next Week: at No. 3 Ohio State

The Badgers had three players rush for 70-plus yards in a 66-7 blowout win over New Mexico State this past weekend. Braelon Allen led the backfield with 86 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Graham Mertz threw three touchdowns of his own. This game was over almost from the start, as the Badgers needed just three plays to get on the board before cruising to a 35-0 halftime lead. We’ll see just how good this Wisconsin team really is when they travel to face No. 3 Ohio State this Saturday night.

8. (9) Rutgers (3-0), W - 16-14 at Temple, Next Week: vs. Iowa

The Scarlet Knights snuck past the Owls this past weekend in an ugly, low-scoring affair. Rutgers gained just 201 yards of total offense, including an eye-popping 59 passing yards, but the defense stepped up in a big way. The Scarlet Knights had a pick six (their only touchdown of the game) and held Temple to only 49 rushing yards in the game. Greg Schiano’s team leaves a lot to be desired on the offensive end, but credit to the Scarlet Knights for still being unbeaten and for notching two road wins (at BC, at Temple) this early in the season.

9. (10) Indiana (3-0), W - 33-30 OT vs. Western Kentucky, Next Week: at Cincinnati

Indiana used a 17-point fourth quarter to force overtime and avoid an upset loss to Western Kentucky in Bloomington. Quarterback Connor Bazelak threw all over the Hilltoppers to the tune of 364 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Indiana’s defense, despite allowing 545 total yards, came up with two second-half turnovers that turned into ten points and sparked the Hoosiers’ comeback. This was a game Indiana had to have if they want to make a bowl this season and the Hoosiers will look to stay undefeated when they travel to take on Cincinnati this upcoming Saturday.

10. (11) Illinois (2-1), BYE, Next Week: vs. Chattanooga

The Illini had this past week off. Brett Bielema’s team will look to take care of business in a winnable game against Chattanooga on Thursday night.

11. (7) Purdue (1-2), L - 32-29 at Syracuse, Next Week: vs. Florida Atlantic

The Boilermakers lost a wild, back-and-forth game in the final minutes against Syracuse on Saturday. After a go-ahead Purdue touchdown with 51 seconds left, the Orange came back down the field (with the help of some penalties) and scored the game-winning touchdown with just seven seconds left. It was a gut-wrenching defeat for a Boilermakers team desperate for a win after their Week 1 loss to Penn State. Wide receiver Charlie Jones had another massive game (11 catches, 188 yards, 1 TD) and now ranks second in the country in receiving yards with 474. The Boilermakers will host Florida Atlantic this weekend.

12. (13) Iowa (2-1), W - 27-0 vs. Nevada, Next Week: at Rutgers

After nearly four hours of lightning delays, the Hawkeyes notched a shutout win over Nevada on Saturday night. Iowa’s defense overwhelmed the Wolfpack in this one, as Nevada gained only 151 total yards on the Hawkeyes. The offense, which had looked inept at times in Iowa’s first two games, showed signs of life on Saturday. Running back Kaleb Johnson had two touchdown runs of 40 and 55 yards and the Hawkeyes committed no turnovers. Kirk Ferentz’s team will travel to Rutgers this upcoming Saturday in a game where points will be at a premium.

13. (12) Northwestern (1-2), L - 31-24 vs. Southern Illinois, Next Week: vs. Miami (OH)

While the spotlight was on other teams in the conference this weekend, Northwestern quietly lost at home to FCS Southern Illinois. Turnovers doomed Northwestern in this game, as the Wildcats had four of them (2 INTs, 2 fumbles), including two in their own territory that the Salukis turned into two touchdowns. After an encouraging win over Nebraska in Week 0, the Wildcats have now lost two in a row heading into Big Ten play and don’t look like a legit contender in the West this season.

14. (14) Nebraska (1-3), L - 49-14 vs. Oklahoma, Next Week: BYE

Nebraska’s downslide continued in their first game without Scott Frost, as the Huskers got blasted by Oklahoma in Week 3. The Cornhuskers scored a touchdown on their opening possession before allowing 42 unanswered points in an offensive clinic put on by the Sooners. Nebraska’s defense had another rough day at the office, allowing 580 yards of total offense and five touchdown drives of 60-plus yards to Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers get a much-needed bye this week, as interim head coach Mickey Joseph will look to salvage anything he can from an already tumultuous season.