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Big Ten weekend review: Week 3

Lopsided wins and standout individual performances highlighted the third week of Big Ten football.

Virginia Tech v Rutgers
Rutgers blew out Virginia Tech, 36-7.
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Big Ten fared just average as a whole in the third week of the college football season, finishing with an 8-6 record, but there were some lopsided victories and impressive individual performances.

Maryland football was one of the bright spots in the conference, overcoming a slow start by scoring 42 unanswered points, as it moved to 3-0 for the third consecutive season. Taulia Tagovailoa recorded another solid performance, completing 19 of his 30 passes for a season-high 342 yards and a touchdown.

Here are three performances that stood out.

Statement game: Maryland 42, Virginia 14

Maryland and Virginia rekindled their former ACC rivalry in their first matchup since 2013.

Despite falling behind early, the Terps’ defense forced four turnovers — all of which came in the final quarter — to help fuel their comeback victory Friday in College Park.

With the victory, Maryland is one of six remaining unbeaten teams in the conference —albeit without the Terps having to face a strong opponent.

They’ll begin Big Ten play next weekend on the road against Michigan State.

Most vital victory: Nebraska 35, Northern Illinois 11

Nebraska entered 2023 with modest expectations under Matt Rhule.

Unfortunately for the Cornhuskers, the first two weeks didn’t go as planned, with losses to Minnesota and Colorado.

The season may be young, but Rhule’s squad was in must-win territory when it hosted Northern Illinois in its first home game of the season.

Following a quick three-and-out by the Huskies, Nebraska quarterback Heinrich Haarberg connected with wideout Billy Kemp IV on its opening drive for a 10-yard touchdown.

Then, Nebraska took advantage of a short field, doubling down with a four play, 36-yard drive. The Cornhuskers took a 14-3 lead into intermission, and never looked back.

Northern Illinois never threatened Nebraska’s lead, as the latter cruised to its first victory of the season, 35-11.

Performance of the week: Rutgers running back Kyle Monangai

The main metric for this category is winning, and there’s one player who performed at the highest level with a program which has a recent history of doing the complete opposite.

Rutgers is 3-0 on the season, and a large portion of that can be attributed to the play of junior running back Kyle Monangai.

He effectively gashed Virginia Tech’s defense this past weekend, totaling 146 yards and three touchdowns on 17 touches. It also helped that Rutgers’ offensive line carved gaping holes the entire afternoon, as evidenced by an impressive average of 7.5 yards per carry.

Monangai has shown this season that he can produce with minimal touches, as well as with a heavy workload. In the Scarlet Knights’ 36-7 victory last week against Temple, he managed 165 yards on 28 carries.