Big Ten

Hackenberg sacked 10 times as Penn State stunned by Temple

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Hackenberg sacked 10 times as Penn State stunned by Temple

Penn State's offensive issues from last season are still issues in 2015. In fact, if we're going by one game, they might be worse.

For the first time since 1941, Temple defeated Penn State on Saturday by a score of 27-10, the Lions starting off the campaign on the wrong foot and Christian Hackenberg starting off the year that's supposed to make him the No. 1 draft pick in horrendous fashion.

Hackenberg was sacked a whopping 10 times Saturday, also throwing an interception as the Penn State offensive line showed it has not yet improved after the atrocious season of pass protection it had in 2014, when Hackenberg was dropped 77 times.

Penn State started off with a 10-0 lead, Akeel Lynch rushing for a 42-yard touchdown in the first quarter to make it look like the Nittany Lions would extend their 31-game win streak against the Owls.

[MORE BIG TEN: Behind stellar defense, Northwestern chops down Stanford in upset]

But Temple scored the game's next 27 points, keeping Penn State from doing anything offensively and Penn State unable to stop Temple. Three touchdown runs and a pair of field goals allowed the Owls to fly by the Lions. Temple out-gained Penn State, 317-191, and out-gained the Lions on the ground, 149-88. Penn State amassed just 63 total yards after its first two drives.

Hackenberg completed just 11 passes for 103 yards, no touchdowns and the interception, only averaging a little better than four yards per completion. Lynch ran for 78 yards on 10 carries, though 42 of those came on the single rush.

Clearly, the problems that plagued Penn State's offensive line a season ago have yet to be solved. Last season, the Lions boasted one of the country's best defenses, offsetting the woeful offense. If the defense, though, is going to play in a fashion that allows 27 points to Temple, that could be extremely problematic.

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.