Pete Pistone and the rest of the SiriusXM Big Ten Radio team will unveil Power Rankings each week of the college football season. Check out their 2021 Power Rankings below, and start listening to SiriusXM Big Ten Radio (Ch. 372) on the SXM App now.
Where did the season go? There is just one week remaining in the Big Ten football season, and things are very much up in the air. The West Division is undecided and Saturday’s epic battle between Michigan and Ohio State will determine the Big Ten East. Here’s how the Big Ten Radio team voted for this week’s edition of the Power Rankings:
1. OHIO STATE
With a 56-7 victory over Michigan State on Saturday, Ohio State earned at least a share of the Big Ten East Division title. The Buckeyes have now claimed at least a share of the division title in each of the last 10 seasons. C.J. Stroud passed for six first-half touchdowns en route to a 49-0 advantage heading into halftime. Stroud found Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson for a pair of first-half TDs and also connected with Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming for scores. Miyan Williams added a rushing score for Ohio State in the first half and Master Teague a fourth-quarter touchdown as part of a 21-carry, 95-yard day. Stroud finished the day 32-35 for 432 yards and six touchdowns. At one point he completed 17 passes in a row, setting an Ohio State record. Defensively, Ohio State limited Michigan State to 224 total yards and just 66 on the ground.
NEXT: @Michigan (November 27)
Michigan football got scoring contributions from all three phases as the Wolverines rolled to a 59-18 victory over Maryland on Saturday (Nov. 20), at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. The offense accounted for 42 of Michigan’s point total behind 343 passing yards and 151 yards on the ground. Quarterback Cade McNamara notched 259 yards on the day, connecting on 21 of 28 attempts and two touchdowns. Hassan Haskins ran for a pair of one-yard TDs as part of a 78-yard game which helped him eclipse 1,000 career rushing yards. The defense got in on the scoring as well, with DJ Turner picking off a Taulia Tagovailoa pass and returning it 42 yards to paydirt late in the third quarter. Josh Ross had a team-best eight tackles, seven solo and one for loss, and R.J. Moten added six tackles and one pass breakup.
NEXT: Ohio State (November 27)
The Spartans were out of the game early against Ohio State as the Buckeyes controlled every aspect of their game on the way to a 56-7 victory.
NEXT: Penn State (November 27)
Braelon Allen rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns — including a tiebreaking 53-yarder with 3:50 remaining — to help Wisconsin outlast Nebraska 35-28 for its seventh consecutive victory on Saturday. Wisconsin will clinch its fourth Big Ten championship game appearance in the last six years if it wins its regular-season finale at Minnesota next Saturday. Wisconsin is tied with No. 18 Iowa for first place in the West but owns the tiebreaker advantage because it beat the Hawkeyes 27-7 on Oct. 30.
NEXT: @Minnesota (November 27)
5. PENN STATE
Penn State closed out its home schedule with a 28-0 win over Big Ten foe Rutgers at Beaver Stadium on Saturday. After quarterback Sean Clifford left the game in the first quarter, true freshman Christian Veilleux saw his first action as a Nittany Lion. Veilleux shined in his debut, completing 15 of 24 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns. Three different receivers found the end zone on the day for the Nittany Lions on Saturday. In his final contest at Beaver Stadium, senior Jahan Dotson had three catches for 52 yards with an 8-yard touchdown. Freshman Malick Meiga recorded his first collegiate touchdown, connecting with Veilleux on a 67-yard score in the third quarter. The Penn State defense shut down the Rutgers offense throughout the afternoon, holding the Scarlett Knights to just 165 yards. Jaquan Brisker led the unit with seven tackles. Senior captain Jonathan Sutherland capped off the victory with his first career interception in his final game at Beaver Stadium.
NEXT: @Michigan State (November 27)
Senior Charlie Jones energized Kinnick Stadium with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter to jumpstart 17th-ranked Iowa in a 33-23 victory over Illinois on Senior Day Saturday. The Hawkeyes trailed 10-0 before Jones’ 100-yard kickoff return – the fourth 100-yarder in school history — gave Iowa a jolt. The Hawkeyes outscored the Illini, 26-13, the rest of the way to improve to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in Big Ten play. Along with Jones on special teams, senior Caleb Shudak accounted for 12 points, making 4-of-5 field goals in the contest, making from 51, 48, 29, and 30. His only miss was a 57-yarder late in the first half. The four field goals were a career high. Illinois out-gained the Hawkeyes, 312-255, in the game, but Iowa found the end zone in all three phases, after a Jack Campbell 32-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter capped Iowa’s scoring.
NEXT: @Nebraska (November 26)
Ky Thomas ran for 105 yards and a career-high two scores, Tanner Morgan threw two touchdown passes, and Minnesota scored 14 points in the final 46 seconds of the first half Saturday to pull away from Indiana 35-14. Indiana started fast, capping an impressive opening drive with quarterback Donaven McCulley scooping up a fumbled snap and scoring from 11 yards out. Thomas’ 2-yard TD run tied the score midway through the second quarter and his 1-yard run with 46 seconds left in the half gave Minnesota a 14-7 lead. The Gophers took control after Tyler Nubin picked off McCulley, a true freshman, and returned it to the Hoosiers 31-yard line. Three plays later, Morgan found Chris Autman-Bell for a 14-yard TD pass with 9 seconds left.
NEXT: Wisconsin (November 27)
Behind a trio of touchdowns from Aidan O’Connell to Milton Wright, the Purdue football team improved to 7-4 (5-3 in the Big Ten) on the season with a 32-14 victory over Northwestern at Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon. Wright had a career day with eight receptions for 213 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs. It marked the third time a Boilermaker wide receiver eclipsed the 200-yard mark in a game, the most ever in a single season. O’Connell aired it out all day long, throwing for 423 yards and completing 74 percent of his passes (29-39). Along with his connection with Wright, O’Connell connected with David Bell 12 times. The Big Ten’s leading wide receiver tallied 101 yards for this 17th career 100-yard game. On the other side of the ball, the defense bounced back by holding the Wildcats to just a pair of touchdowns. The Boilermakers recorded eight tackles for loss as a team, including four consecutive sacks on one of Northwestern’s last drives of the game.
NEXT: Indiana (November 27)
The Scarlet Knights could not get things going on either side of the football losing to Penn State 28-0.
NEXT: Maryland (November 27)
The Michigan Wolverines were just too much for the Terms to handle as Maryland suffered a 59-18 loss at The Shell.
NEXT: @Rutgers (November 27)
The Fighting Illini put up a good fight on the road against Iowa but came up short 33-23.
NEXT: Northwestern (November 27)
The story of Nebraska’s season played out again in the Huskers’ loss to Wisconsin. The Badgers were victorious in a close game 35-28.
NEXT: Iowa (November 26)
The Hoosiers are just a game away from going winless in the conference this season after Minnesota came to Bloomington and won 35-14.
NEXT: @Purdue (November 27)
Wrigley Field turned out to be the not so “Friendly Confines” for the Wildcats after losing to Purdue 32-14.
NEXT: @Illinois (November 27)
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