Big Ten

Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner to miss another game while recovering from concussion

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Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner to miss another game while recovering from concussion

Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner will miss a second straight game as he continues to recover from a concussion.

Leidner was listed as out on the Gophers' injury report Tuesday, meaning redshirt junior Conor Rhoda will get his second straight start when Minnesota plays Rutgers on Saturday.

Head coach Tracy Claeys was asked about Leidner's status on Tuesday and said that the senior quarterback has been cleared for light activity during practice.

When asked if it was possible if Leidner could practice enough to play Saturday, Claeys expressed doubt.

"I don't know that. In my opinion, it's going to be hard for him to take enough reps and do all of that, you know what I mean?" Claeys said. "We put a lot more on the quarterback's plate now than what we have in the past, and you need to practice. So I'm not saying that he won't, but I think it's extremely difficult for that. I'll have a better idea today after I see how he gets through today."

Rhoda got his first career start in last weekend's 31-10 win at Maryland, helping to lead the Minnesota offense to 311 total yards. Of course, that was mostly the work of the rushing attack, which gained 229 yards on the ground. Rhoda completed seven of his 15 passing attempts for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Leidner ranks 11th out of 13 qualified Big Ten signal-callers in quarterback rating. He's completed 57.7 percent of his passes this season (ninth in the conference) for 1,006 yards (10th) and five touchdowns (tied for 12th).

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.