Big Ten football power rankings: Week 4
September 29, 2015
Editor’s note: Every week, The Daily Illini football staff ranks the football teams in the Big Ten 1-14 and compiles the lists into its own Big Ten power rankings.
1. Ohio State (Last week: 1) — The Buckeyes’ offense is starting to take form after a slow start to the season. Cardale Jones threw for 288 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Ohio State’s 38-12 win over Western Michigan. On the defensive end, defensive lineman Adolphus Washington returned an interception for a touchdown.
2. Michigan State (2) — Spartans’ running back Gerald Holmes scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and Connor Cook threw for 143 yards and a touchdown as Michigan State held on to defeat Central Michigan 30-10 after a sluggish start. Defensive end Shilique Calhoun had two and a half sacks and blocked a field goal for the Spartans.
3. Wisconsin (3) — Joel Stave threw for 164 yards and one touchdown and Taiwan Deal ran for 147 yards and scored two touchdowns in Wisconsin’s 28-0 win against Hawaii. The Badgers held a nonconference opponent without a touchdown for a third-straight game.
4. Northwestern (4) — The Wildcats scored 17 points in the third quarter to overcome a slow start and defeat Ball State 24-19. Clayton Thorson threw three touchdowns and Justin Jackson ran for a career-high 184 yards.
5. Iowa (6) — Jordan Canzeri tied a school record when he scored four touchdowns in Iowa’s 62-6 win over North Texas. C.J. Beathard threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns while Tevaun Smith had four receptions for 115 yards, including an 81-yard pass.
6. Michigan (8) — Jake Rudock ran for two touchdowns and threw for one in Michigan’s 31-0 win over then-No. 22 BYU. The Wolverines scored all 31 points in the first half and De’Veon Smith ran for 125 yards and one touchdown. They’re ranked in the Top 25 for the first time this season.
7. Minnesota (5) — Gophers’ running back Shannon Brooks scored a three-yard touchdown with 30 seconds left and helped Minnesota defeat Ohio 27-24. Mitch Leidner threw for a career-high 264 yards in Minnesota’s close win over Ohio.
8. Nebraska (7) — Southern Mississippi tried to complete a comeback win when it scored 21 points in the fourth quarter but Nick Mullens was sacked on the last play of Saturday’s game against Nebraska and the Cornhuskers escaped with a 36-28 win . Tommy Armstrong, Jr. threw for 368 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and ran for 63 yards.
9. Penn State (9) — Christian Hackenberg threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns in Penn State’s 37-21 win over San Diego State. Defensive tackle Austin Johnson returned a fumble for 71 yards and Joey Julius kicked three field goals in the win.
10. Illinois (11) — It took a combination of Taylor Zalewski’s 51-yard field goal and Cody Clark‘s missed 43-yard field goal for Illinois to defeat Middle Tennessee State 27-25. Wes Lunt threw for 238 yards and a touchdown and the Illini defense only allowed 38 rushing yards in Saturday’s win.
11. Indiana (12) — Nate Sudfeld threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns and Jordan Howard ran for 168 yards and one touchdown in Indiana’s 31-24 win over Wake Forest. The Hoosiers are 4-0 for the first time since 1990.
12. Maryland (10) — Maryland’s defense allowed West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard to throw for 294 yards and four touchdowns in the Terrapins’ 45-6 loss to the Mountaineers. Caleb Rowe threw four interceptions and his replacement Daxx Garman added another in the loss.
13. Rutgers (14) — Chris Laviano threw for 201 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in Rutgers’ 27-14 win over Kansas. Josh Hicks ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns while Robert Martin added 102 yards as the Scarlet Knights head into their bye after a crazy start to the season.
14. Purdue (13) — Bowling Green’s Travis Greene scored on a 12-yard touchdown run with nine seconds left to help the Falcons defeat the Boilermakers 35-28. David Blough threw for 340 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in his first start for Purdue.