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Big Ten Power Rankings: A Mixed Bag Out of Conference
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12 Sep 2018 02:56 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Iowa keeps the Cy-Hawk Trophy with win over Iowa State. (Image Source: Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

The Big Ten rankings following Week 2:

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (1) 2-0 (1-0): Won vs. Rutgers 52-3

Quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins (233 yards, 4 TDs) and Tate Martell (121 yards, 1 TD) were a combined 30 of 33 passing with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

What’s Next: vs. TCU (8:00/ABC)

2. Wisconsin Badgers (2) 2-0 (0-0): Won vs. New Mexico 45-14

After a slow start the Badgers pulled away behind the Taylor boys. Jonathan Taylor (253 yards rushing) and A.J. Taylor (134 yards receiving) both set career highs.

What’s Next: vs. BYU (3:30/ABC)

3. Michigan Wolverines (3) 1-1 (0-0): Won vs. Western Michigan 49-3

They ran for 308 yards and passed for four scores. Karan Higdon (156 yards) averaged 12.0 YPC, Chris Evans (86 yards) 8.6, and Tru Wilson (54 yards) 9.0.  

What’s Next: vs. SMU (3:30/BTN)

4. Penn State Nittany Lions (4) 2-0 (0-0): Won @ Pittsburgh 51-6

After a close first half, the Nittany Lions took control and rolled in the second half behind their big-play, explosive attack. Four TD drives of five plays or less.

What’s Next: vs. Kent State (12:00/FS1)

5. Michigan State Spartans (5) 1-1 (0-0): Lost @ Arizona State 16-13

MSU’s inability to run the ball consistently (2.3 YPC) allowed ASU to stay in the game as the Spartans wore down in the heat, losing the fourth quarter 13-0.

What’s Next: @ Indiana (September 22)

6. Iowa Hawkeyes (6) 2-0 (0-0): Won vs. Iowa State 13-3

It was another dominant defensive effort, as Iowa allowed just 19 rushing yards (0.8) and 5.5 yards per pass. A.J. Epenesa recorded two of their four sacks.   

What’s Next: vs. Northern Iowa (7:30/BTN)

7. Maryland Terrapins (7) 2-0 (0-0): Won @ Bowling Green 45-14

After a slow start the Terps exploded for 35 points in the final 20 minutes as they rushed for 444 yards. Three running backs had over 100 total yards.

What’s Next: vs. Temple (12:00/BTN)

8. Nebraska Cornhuskers (10) 0-1 (0-0): Lost vs. Colorado 33-28

Despite the defeat there were positives to take from the opener. At times the offense led by Adrian Martinez was explosive and the pass rush was terrorizing (7 sacks).

What’s Next: vs. Troy (12:00/BTN)

9. Northwestern Wildcats (8) 1-1 (1-0): Lost vs. Duke 21-7  

The Wildcats ran 28 plays in Duke territory in the second half and didn’t score, as they outgained the Blue Devils by 80 yards with 24 first downs to 15.  

What’s Next: vs. Akron (7:30/BTN)

10. Indiana Hoosiers (11) 2-0 (0-0): Won vs. Virginia 20-16

It was a monster game for true freshman running back Stevie Scott who rushed for 204 yards, including a 40-yard scoring scamper to answer UVA’s opening TD.

What’s Next: vs. Ball State (12:00/BTN)

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers (12) 2-0 (0-0): Won vs. Fresno State 21-14

Big-time catches by receiver Tyler Johnson (set up game-winning TD) and safety Antonio Winfield Jr. (game-sealing INT) overcame the loss of Rodney Smith.

What’s Next: vs. Miami (Ohio) (3:30/BTN)

12. Purdue Boilermakers (9) 0-2 (0-1): Lost vs. Eastern Michigan 20-19    

A missed extra point and costly penalties at inopportune times wasted a monster ground game (341 yards), as D.J. Knox (7.2 YPC) and Markell Jones (9.1) went off.

What’s Next: vs. Missouri (7:30/BTN)

13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (13) 1-1 (0-1): Lost @ Ohio State 52-3

The Scarlet Knights have been out-scored 271 to 27 by Ohio State in five games as conference opponents. RU averaged 2.2 yards per play compared to 7.9 by OSU.

What’s Next: @ Kansas (12:00/FSN)

14. Illinois Fighting Illini (14) 2-0 (0-0): Won vs. Western Illinois 34-14

With AJ Bush out, true freshman M.J. Rivers II stepped in and was 9 of 16 for 105 yards (2 TDs). Freshman Edwin Carter caught both scores but is out for the year.

What’s Next: vs. USF (3:30/BTN)

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.

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