Big Ten

Buckeyes' Ezekiel Elliott apologizes for blasting play-calling in Saturday's loss

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Buckeyes' Ezekiel Elliott apologizes for blasting play-calling in Saturday's loss

Ezekiel Elliott made waves after Saturday's loss to Michigan State when he blasted Ohio State coaches for their play-calling and not getting him the ball more.

Two days after the heat of the moment, Elliott apologized.

"I am sorry for all those offended by the statements made by me Saturday after our loss," Elliott posted on Twitter. "My intentions were not to point fingers at anyone for our failure. I was caught up in emotions. I hope everyone can understand how strongly I love this team and this university and how much I wanted to win that game, but I do not regret anything I said.

"I have given nothing but blood, sweat and tears for this university and team ever since I stepped on campus in Columbus and have always put the team before myself. I don't care if I rushed for 20 yards or 200 yards, but I just wanted to win that game.

"I agree that it was the wrong time and place to say that I was going to leave after this year. But I am not leaving after this season because we lost that game. I could have told you a month ago that that was going to be my last game in the Shoe, as you can see I was very emotional before the game.

"Finally, I just want Buckeye Nation to know I am sorry for all the controversy and unrest I caused in the past couple of days. But I promise you all will get a focused and prepared team this Saturday when we travel to Ann Arbor."

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Elliott's apology comes in the wake of the Buckeyes watching their undefeated season come to an end with an upsetting offensive performance. The Spartans played extremely well defensively, holding the Buckeyes to just 132 total yards.

Elliott, who was a Heisman candidate up until Saturday, received just 12 carries and gained just 33 yards.

After the game, the junior running back said the coaching staff didn't put Ohio State in a position to win the game and that he didn't know what was going on with the play-calling and that "there's no chance I'm coming back next year."

Monday, head coach Urban Meyer addressed the comments, saying that he and Elliott put the moment behind them and that he really couldn't disagree with Elliott's assessment.

"Zeke has always been extremely loyal person, a great competitor. He had an infection in his leg early in the week, and just a very emotional week. He's a very well-thought of junior, and he gets a microphone stuck in his face, and obviously, we do not condone that and encourage that," Meyer said. "Our rule is always talk about your teammates and move on. And he came to see me. We had a very long discussion — he's great — and he apologized and he said, 'You know, they didn't have the whole interview in there.' Regardless I'm not going listen to the whole interview, and that doesn't mean a whole lot to me. It does mean a lot that it's causing attention. So, we squashed it as a team. We squashed it as Zeke.

"I just want to make clear, Zeke has been a good student, very loyal, incredible football player. One of the most selfless players I've ever coached and been around."

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.