Big Ten

Cardale Jones to start for Buckeyes vs. Western Michigan


Cardale Jones to start for Buckeyes vs. Western Michigan

Cardale Jones will start at quarterback for Ohio State when the Buckeyes host Western Michigan on Saturday in Columbus.

The starting job was once again up for grabs this week after both Jones and J.T. Barrett played poorly in an ugly 20-13 win over Northern Illinois last weekend, but head coach Urban Meyer announced Wednesday that Barrett has yet to beat Jones out and that Jones will start for the fourth time in four games this season.

“Cardale’s going to start at quarterback for us,” Meyer said Wednesday.

Jones threw two early interceptions against NIU, and he was removed from the game and replaced by Barrett, who also couldn’t do much to get the Buckeyes’ offense going, throwing an interception of his own in the second half.

But Meyer reiterated Wednesday that Jones continues to win the competition against Barrett, dating back to the end of last season when he led the Buckeyes to three postseason wins including a win in the national championship game.

"He was the quarterback of the team when we finished the season last year," Meyer said. "He was the quarterback in spring practice, the only healthy one. And he finished training camp as the starting quarterback. And at times he's played very good, other times he has not. To replace him, the other guy's got to pass him up, either (at practice) or in games. That hasn't happened."

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Neither quarterback has had a good start to the 2015 season after both were sensational in 2014. Jones has thrown two touchdowns and three interceptions while starting three games, all Ohio State wins. Barrett has two touchdowns and one interceptions in limited time as the No. 2.

Jones beat out Barrett for the starting job following a preseason position battle that captivated the attention of the entire college football world. But Barrett has seen the field plenty, leading many to criticize Meyer for his apparent desire to play both guys as much as he can rather than picking one player and sticking with him.

That strategy seems to be continuing this week.

“It’s like any position,” Meyer said. “If someone replaces you, they’ve got to beat you out. That’s the approach we’re taking, and they’re both ready to go.

“You don’t anoint people. ‘Let’s give that guy a shot.’ When I hear that, of course that person’s never coached for a living. ‘Give him a shot.’ You have to earn things. It’s close, they’re both working their tails off.”

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


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


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.