Big Ten

David Blough impresses, but Purdue suffers crushing loss to Bowling Green


David Blough impresses, but Purdue suffers crushing loss to Bowling Green

It was a sensational debut for freshman quarterback David Blough, but Purdue suffered another heartbreaking defeat on Saturday.

Blough, in his first start taking over for Austin Appleby, had the Boilermakers neck and neck with high-scoring Bowling Green. But a missed field goal that could have given Purdue a lead led to a game-winning drive for Bowling Green, which scored with nine seconds remaining to send the Boilermakers to a 35-28 loss in West Lafayette.

Blough completed 29 of his 39 passing attempts for 340 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was a remarkable revelation for the Purdue offense, which amassed 426 total yards against Bowling Green’s defense.

The Falcons entered with one of the most prolific offenses in the country, quarterback Matt Johnson the nation’s leading passer. But the Boilers answered nearly every Falcons score. Blough tied the game at 7 with a touchdown run in the first quarter. He hit DeAngelo Yancey for a 45-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 in the second quarter.

[MORE BIG TEN: Dominant on both sides, Michigan makes statement in crushing BYU]

Down, 21-14, at the half, Blough set up a five-yard touchdown run for Jarrett Burgess to tie the game at 21. And Blough immediately answered a go-ahead Johnson touchdown toss with a 62-yard touchdown pass about halfway through the fourth quarter.

After that quick drive, Purdue’s defense forced a Bowling Green punt, and Blough led a more than four-minute drive down to the Bowling Green 15-yard line. But, for the second time in the game, Purdue kicker Paul Griggs missed a short field goal — this one 32 yards, the first 19 — blowing the opportunity to give his team the lead.

Bowling Green responded with a two-and-a-half-minute touchdown drive that ended with a short touchdown run with just nine seconds remaining.

Bowling Green ended up hanging 539 total yards and 402 passing yards on the Purdue defense.

It was yet another crushing defeat for Purdue, which blew a late lead in the season-opening loss to Marshall and was hammered last week by Virginia Tech. Saturday's loss knocks the Boilers to 1-3.

There are plenty of silver linings here, though, most namely Blough, who had a sensational day in his first start as the Boilers’ No. 1 quarterback.

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.