Big Ten

Corey Clement scores three TDs in return as Badgers blast Rutgers

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Corey Clement scores three TDs in return as Badgers blast Rutgers

Think the Badgers missed Corey Clement?

Wisconsin’s junior running back got eight carries in the season-opening loss to Alabama and missed the next seven games while recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia.

But Clement returned in a big way Saturday, rushing for 115 yards and scoring three touchdowns in his first action since Week 1, as Wisconsin blew out Rutgers, 48-10.

Clement’s second carry of the game went for a 12-yard touchdown run that put the Badgers on top, 10-0.

Not long after a Rutgers field goal, Wisconsin capitalized on a short field, as Joel Stave hit Alex Erickson for a 31-yard touchdown on fourth down.

[MORE BIG TEN: Corey Clement returns to Badgers, second carry since Week 1 goes for TD]

Clement added his second touchdown run of the afternoon, a 21-yarder, to boost the Badgers’ lead to 24-3, and a field goal as time ran out on the first half gave Wisconsin a 27-3 edge at halftime.

The Scarlet Knights couldn’t do much of anything right Saturday, and that was illustrated no better than when after an interception of a Stave deep ball, Rutgers fumbled away a snap inside its own five-yard line, setting up Clement’s third scoring run to make it 34-3.

Stave threw another interception, this one returned for a touchdown by Rutgers. But Clement snatched any momentum back with a 58-yard run that set up Dare Ogunbowale’s four-yard touchdown run.

Tanner McEvoy completed some sort of wild hat trick with a 20-yard touchdown run to make it 48-10 after already registering a sack and an interception on the defensive side of the ball.

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Badgers gear right here]

Clement finished with the 115 yards on just 11 carries. His return was a big boost, helping the Badgers to 209 rushing yards on the day. Wisconsin ranked 11th in the Big Ten in rushing entering Saturday's game, and Clement's continued success — he obviously wasn't at 100 percent Saturday — can return Wisconsin to its usual rushing dominance.

Stave passed for 217 yards and a touchdown in the win. And the Badgers' defense performed brilliantly, holding the Knights to just 165 total yards.

The Badgers looked excellent on Saturday, and their resume looks pretty stellar, too. Wisconsin sits at 7-2 on the season with its only losses coming to top-10 teams Alabama and Iowa. The Badgers’ remaining schedule doesn’t seem to present too many opportunities for losses, but neither does the Hawkeyes’, meaning it still would be tricky for Wisconsin to reach the Big Ten title game.

Rutgers fell to 3-5 with Saturday’s loss, 1-4 in the Big Ten.

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.