Big Ten

Aaron Burbridge scores three TDs as Spartans best Air Force

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Aaron Burbridge scores three TDs as Spartans best Air Force

Michigan State boasts the reigning Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year, and it might be well on its way to claiming a second straight.

Aaron Burbridge dominated Saturday with three touchdown catches as the fourth-ranked Spartans had little trouble with Air Force in a 35-21 win in East Lansing.

Burbridge caught eight passes for 156 yards and the trio of scores Saturday. This after his 117- and 101-yard performances in each of Michigan State's first two games of this season.

Check out the touchdowns, the first potentially claiming frontrunner status for the catch of the year.

(Videos from BTN.com)

[MORE BIG TEN: Ty Isaac breaks off 76-yard TD run as Michigan thumps UNLV]

Connor Cook pitched all three of those TD passes to Burbridge plus another to Josiah Price to give him a career-high four touchdown tosses on the afternoon to go along with his 247 passing yards.

Though it wasn't a difficult win for the No. 4 team in the country, Air Force still managed to pile up the stats. Michigan State's defense, which was so terrific last week against Oregon, allowed 428 yards — 279 rushing — to Air Force's triple-option attack. But the score is a little misleading, as Air Force's final two touchdowns came only after Michigan State built a 35-7 lead.

The Spartans' defense still had a fine day when it came to turnovers, forcing a pair of fumbles and intercepting a pass.

Michigan State wraps up its non-conference schedule with Central Michigan next weekend.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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USA TODAY

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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USA TODAY

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.