Big Ten

Christian Hackenberg throws three TDs as Penn State edges Terps

christian-hackenberg-1024.png

Christian Hackenberg throws three TDs as Penn State edges Terps

The Randy Edsall Era might be over, but that doesn't mean Maryland is just going to stop turning the ball over.

Maryland quarterback Perry HIlls had five turnovers Saturday, and Penn State capitalized to grab a narrow 31-30 win in Baltimore.

Hills threw three interceptions and gave away a pair of fumbles, while his counterpart, Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw three touchdown passes in the victory.

The Terps scored 13 of the game's first 20 points before the Nittany Lions scored a touchdown — a 37-yard pass from Hackenberg to Chris Godwin — and kicked a field goal in the final three minutes of the first half to take a 17-13 lead into the break.

Brandon Ross hit the end zone for the first score of the third quarter, putting the Terps back on top again. Hackenberg responded with a 20-yard touchdown toss to DaeSean Hamilton. But Hills threw a touchdown pass to DeAndre Lane in the quarter's final minute to put Maryland back in front.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Penn State gear right here]

Hackenberg found Geno Lewis in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter for a go-ahead touchdown to make it a 31-27 game.

The opening play of the ensuing Maryland drive was a 43-yard completion from Hills to Taivon Jacobs, but the drive ended in a field goal, cutting it to a one-point game.

Penn State kick returned Nick Scott fumbled the ball away to Maryland on the following kickoff, but Hills fumbled it back to Penn State when he was sacked shortly thereafter. Joey Julius missed a field-goal try on the drive, keeping the Terps alive. But Hills threw two interceptions in the final eight minutes, allowing the Lions to secure the win.

Hackenberg finished with 315 passing yards and three touchdowns, with Godwin going for 135 receiving yards and a touchdown and Hamilton 96 yards and a touchdown.

Hills finished with 225 passing yards, 156 rushing yards and a pair of total touchdowns.

Penn State improved to 6-2 with the win, while Maryland dropped to 2-5.

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

jeremy_larkin.jpg
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

anderson.jpg
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.