Big Ten football power rankings: Week 6

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By The Daily Illini Football Staff

1. Ohio State (Last week: 1) — Urban Meyer isn’t afraid to use both of his talented quarterbacks in the Buckeyes’ 49-28 win over Maryland. Cardale Jones started drives and threw two touchdowns and 291 yards while J.T. Barrett finished drives and scored three rushing touchdowns.

2. Michigan (5) — Jehu Chesson returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and Michigan built a four-touchdown lead by halftime against Northwestern in the Wolverines’ 38-0 win. Jourdan Lewis intercepted a pass and returned for a touchdown and Jake Rudock threw for 179 yards.

3. Michigan State (2) — Running back L.J. Scott scored one of his two rushing touchdowns with 43 seconds left in the Spartans 31-24 win over Rutgers. Spartans quarterback Connor Cook threw a season-high 357 yards — one yard short of his career high — and two touchdowns as the Spartans improve to 6-0 and 2-0 in the Big Ten.

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    4. Iowa (4) — Jordan Canzeri rushed for 256 yards on a school-record 43 carries to help the Hawkeyes hold off Illinois 29-20. C.J. Beathard threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns as Iowa improves to 6-0, 2-0 in the Big Ten.

    5. Northwestern (3) — The Wildcats had no answers for Michigan’s strong defense. Clayton Thorson threw for 106 yards and an interception while Justin Jackson rushed for 25 yards on 12 carries and Northwestern rushed for 38 yards after it averaged 248.8 rushing yards per game.

    6. Wisconsin (6) — Rafael Gaglianone made a 46-yard field goal with four seconds left to help the Badgers escape Nebraska with a 23-21 win. Joel Stave threw for 332 yards and a touchdown while Alex Erickson finished with 113 receiving yards.

    7. Penn State (8) — Christian Hackenberg threw for 262 yards, two touchdown passes and ran in two more in the Nittany Lions’ 29-7 win over Indiana. Nick Scott ran for 57 yards and Mark Allen added 45 as Penn State improves to 5-1, 2-0 in the conference.

    8. Illinois (7) — The Illini hung in there with Iowa but too many big plays hurt the team’s chances of beating the then-No. 22 Hawkeyes. Wes Lunt threw for 317 yards and Ke’Shawn Vaughn ran for 67 yards but fumbled late in the fourth quarter when Illinois could’ve taken the lead.

    9. Minnesota (10) — The Golden Gophers offense struggled in the first half but scored 31 points in the second half of Minnesota’s 41-13 win over Purdue. Shannon Brooks ran for 176 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown, and Mitch Leidner threw for 59 yards and two touchdowns.

    10. Indiana (9) — Zander Diamont and Indiana’s offense struggled to gain momentum in the Hoosiers’ 29-7 loss to Penn State. Diamont played in place of injured starter Nate Sudfeld and threw for 90 yards as Indiana lost its second straight after it won its first four.

    11. Nebraska (11) — There might be panic in Lincoln, Nebraska, after the Cornhuskers lost their fourth game on the opponent’s last drive of the game. Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw for 129 yards and a touchdown and Andy Janovich and Terrell Newby each ran for 59 yards in Nebraska’s 23-21 loss to Wisconsin.

    12. Rutgers (14) — The battle to not be the worst team in the Big Ten continues and the Scarlett Knights made a good case in its 31-24 loss to Michigan State. Rutgers tied the game at 24 with 4:21 left in the game and had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but miscommunication between players and coaches got in the way.

    13. Maryland (13) — The Terrpains fired head coach Randy Edsall on Sunday after they lost 49-28 to Ohio State on Saturday. Former Illini offensive coordinator Mike Locksley will be the interim coach for the rest of the season. Perry Hills became the fourth Maryland quarterback this season and threw for 133 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

    14. Purdue (12) — The Boilermakers are worse than two teams who’ve fired their coaches and Darrell Hazel is likely next. David Blough threw for 207 yards and a touchdown but threw three intercpetions in Purude’s 41-13 loss to Minnesota.

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