Three weeks into the 2020 Big Ten football season, the conference has been absolutely turned on its head with upset victories week after week. While now-No. 10 IU got its first win over then-No. 23 Michigan in 33 years on Saturday, here’s what happened across the rest of the conference:
Michigan State versus Iowa
Following last week’s surprising upset of then-No. 13 Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Michigan State fell back to earth this week in a 49-7 blowout loss to Iowa.
The Hawkeyes, led by a 113 yard, two touchdown afternoon from sophomore running back Tyler Goodson, ran the ball spectacularly. Iowa totaled 226 yards and four touchdowns as a team on the ground.
The Hawkeyes defense also stepped up in the team’s first win of the season, holding the Spartan wide receiver Ricky White to just one catch for 22 yards following his 196-yard, one touchdown outing against Michigan last week. The defense also forced three interceptions from MSU quarterback Rocky Lombardi, including one that was returned 54 yards for a touchdown by Iowa’s Riley Moss.
Iowa, in the win column for the first time in 2020, will face Minnesota next week. Michigan State is hosting No. 10 IU next Saturday in East Lansing, Michigan.
Nebraska versus Northwestern
For the first time since 2000, Northwestern is 3-0 in Big Ten conference play following their 21-13 home win over Nebraska.
The Wildcats defense stepped up again this season, and it has been their calling card all year long. Northwestern has given up an average of just 12 points per game this season.
While the Wildcats offense was not spectacular for a second consecutive week, graduate transfer quarterback and former IU starter Peyton Ramsey and the offense did enough to get the win. Ramsey threw for 169 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
With the win, Northwestern is ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, and will head to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face fellow Big Ten west undefeated Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium. Nebraska will host winless Penn State.
Maryland versus Penn State
Penn State is 0-3 in conference play for the first time since 2004 following its shocking home loss to Maryland, 35-19. The Nittany Lions entered the game as massive 27-point favorites.
From start to finish, Maryland was in control of this game. The Terrapins’ lead was as big as 35-7 before the Nittany Lions made a late comeback.
Sophomore quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa hit five-star freshman wide receiver Rakim Jarrett for two early touchdowns, one for 42 yards and the other for 62 yards. Tagovailoa threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns on the day while Jarrett caught five passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
With the upset win, the Terrapins are back over .500 following their 43-3 week one loss to Northwestern, and they will host No. 3 Ohio State in College Park, Maryland, next week. Penn State will face Nebraska at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Minnesota versus Illinois
Minnesota got its first win of the season Saturday, winning 41-14 on the road against Illinois. Both teams entered the game winless and the Illini fell to 0-3 following the loss.
Win or lose this season, Minnesota’s offense has been entirely dependent on junior running back Mohamed Ibrahim. In just three games, Ibrahim has ran for 571 yards and 10 touchdowns, including 224 yards and four touchdowns against Illinois, cementing himself amongst the nation’s elite tailbacks.
For Illinois, it was more of the same for yet another week.
The team has struggled immensely on both sides of the ball, giving up an average of 39 points per game while only averaging 15 points per game.
Minnesota is scheduled to host fellow 1-2 team Iowa on Friday night, while Illinois will head to Rutgers on Saturday.
Rutgers versus No. 3 Ohio State
No. 3 Ohio State’s lethal offense was just too much for Rutgers in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday night, with the Buckeyes winning 49-27.
Ohio State junior quarterback Justin Fields has been on fire in 2020, and his hot streak continued into week 3. Fields went 24 for 28 through the air for 314 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for seven yards and one touchdown on the ground. Fields has thrown eleven touchdowns this season and only eleven incompletions.
While Rutgers was severely overmatched in talent, they tried to make up for it in creativity.
The Scarlet Knights ran several trick plays, including attempting a lateral on the game’s opening kickoff. While their efforts ultimately fell short, the 22-point defeat is an improvement over last year’s 35-point loss to the Buckeyes.
Ohio State remained at No. 3 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, and the Buckeyes will travel next week to face the Maryland Terrapins. Rutgers will host Illinois in Piscataway, New Jersey, next Saturday.