Big Ten

Badgers' Michael Caputo cleared to play, Corey Clement likely a game-time decision

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Badgers' Michael Caputo cleared to play, Corey Clement likely a game-time decision

At least one of the two Wisconsin stars banged up in the season-opening loss to Alabama will be in action on Saturday.

Michael Caputo, the senior safety who was held out of the majority of the Week 1 game after a big hit, was cleared to play Thursday and is expected to be on the field Saturday when the Badgers host Miami (Ohio). Caputo went through concussion protocols this week and according to head coach Paul Chryst is good to go.

Caputo's return should be a big boost for the Wisconsin defense. Not only is Caputo a captain, but he's one of the best players on a unit that was shredded by the Alabama rushing attack, giving up 238 rushing yards and a trio of long touchdown runs. The Crimson Tide put up 502 total offensive yards against the Badgers.

[MORE BIG TEN: Week 2 Big Ten previews: Can Spartans get revenge on Ducks?]

Meanwhile, the status of running back Corey Clement is still up in the air. Clement has been bothered by a groin injury that dates back to before the season-opener. He attempted to play with the nagging injury, but he couldn't do much against Alabama, carrying the ball eight times for 16 yards and catching a pair of passes for 19 yards.

Chryst told reporters Thursday that it will likely be a game-time decision based on how Clement does during pregame warmups.

Clement's return might not be necessary for this week's game against a Miami (Ohio) team that's gone 3-12 since the start of the 2013 season, but it will be necessary to get a Wisconsin running game back on track following an uncharacteristicly poor showing in the loss to Alabama. The Badgers rushed for just 40 yards against the Tide. Clement's injury, as well as the continued inexperience along the offensive line — not to mention a typically stellar Alabama defense — made it a tough day on the ground.

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.