Big Ten

Cardale Jones subs in for J.T. Barrett as Buckeyes beat Gophers

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Cardale Jones subs in for J.T. Barrett as Buckeyes beat Gophers

J.T. Barrett's one-week suspension, as could've been predicted, did not have a drastic impact on the outcome of the Buckeyes' game Saturday night.

Even without the guy who accounted for 12 total touchdowns in the previous three games, Ohio State claimed victory behind the quarterback that started their first seven wins of this season to deliver yet another victory, this one a 28-14 defeat of Minnesota at Ohio Stadium.

Barrett was suspended for a week following his citation for operating a vehicle while intoxicated last weekend during Ohio State's bye week. Barrett was inserted as the starting quarterback for the first time this season in the team's previous game, a win over Rutgers, and he accounted for five touchdowns in that win.

But with Barrett suspended, Cardale Jones was back in the starting quarterback role following his one week away, and he threw for a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown in the Buckeyes' two-touchdown win. He's now 11-0 as a starting quarterback at Ohio State.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Buckeyes' defense opened the scoring when Vonn Bell intercepted Mitch Leidner's pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown.

Later in the quarter, Ezekiel Elliott rushed in for a 15-yard score after Jones hit Jalin Marshall for a big 44-yard gain.

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Jones' touchdown toss to Michael Thomas made it 21-0 in the third quarter, but the Gophers had some fight left in them, with Leidner throwing a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make it a one-score game. But Jones capped the night's scoring with a 38-yard touchdown run inside of two minutes remaining to end any upset bid Minnesota might have had.

Jones finished with 187 passing yards and a touchdown pass to go along with 65 rushing yards and a touchdown run.

Elliott had his usual triple-digit game, rushing 26 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. He's now at 14 straight games with at least 100 rushing yards.

The Ohio State defense stood tall, too, holding Minnesota to just 314 total yards, including just 33 rushing yards. Plus, the Buckeyes scored a defensive touchdown for the fourth time this season.

The Buckeyes improved to a perfect 9-0 with the win and remain one of just two undefeated teams in the Big Ten following Michigan State's loss to Nebraska on Saturday night.

Minnesota fell to 4-5 with the loss and are in danger of missing a bowl game this season. Games against Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin remain. The Gophers need to win two of them to become bowl eligible.

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.