Big Ten

Hawkeyes hold off Hoosiers to improve to 9-0

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Hawkeyes hold off Hoosiers to improve to 9-0

Crank up that Victory Polka, Iowa fans, because the Hawkeyes are 9-0.

For the first time since 2009, Iowa is without a loss through nine games, getting to that mark Saturday with a 35-27 win at Indiana.

The Hawkeyes had a big offensive day, gaining 467 total yards, evenly distributing things with 234 rush yards and 233 pass yards. C.J. Beathard threw for a touchdown pass and ran in for another score, one of three different Iowa ballcarriers to score a total of four rushing touchdowns against the always-exploitable Indiana defense.

Akrum Wadley busted off a 65-yard touchdown run on the game's second play, but it didn't foretell an exactly dominant effort by Iowa on Saturday. The Hoosiers gave the undefeated Hawkeyes all they could handle in the first half.

After Wadley's scoring dash, Indiana kicked a field goal before another Iowa touchdown rush — this one by LeShun Daniels — opened the second quarter. But the Hoosiers answered in impressive fashion, with Jordan Howard rattling off touchdown runs of 37 and 29 yards to put the home team on top. They were just the second and third rushing touchdowns allowed by the Hawkeyes this season.

Beathard, though, provided quite the highlight with a leaping go-ahead touchdown in the first half's final seconds to give Iowa a 21-17 lead.

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After a scoreless third quarter, another Griffin Oakes field goal made it a one-point game early in the fourth. But Daniels rushed in for a touchdown for the second time on the day not long after, and Beathard followed with a touchdown pass to George Kittle to make it a 35-20 game with about six minutes to play.

Nate Sudfeld hit Michael Cooper for a late touchdown to get within a score with two and a half minutes left, but Indiana's onside-kick attempt failed, ending all ideas of a comeback.

Wadley finished with 120 rush yards and a touchdown, with Daniels adding 78 yards and his two touchdowns and Beathard rushing for another 38 yards and his own touchdown. The quarterback also completed 19 of his 31 pass attempts for 233 yards and a touchdown.

Desmond King also had another interception. His eighth pick of the season matches Iowa's single-season record, tying Nile Kinnick.

Howard had a huge day for the Hoosiers, tearing up a Hawkeye defense that has been one of the country's best against the run. He carried the ball 22 times for 174 yards and two touchdowns.

Iowa is 9-0 for the second time ever, and it seems as if a perfect 12-0 regular season is well within the Hawkeyes' reach. Three games remain against Minnesota, Purdue and Nebraska, and Iowa should be heavily favored in all three games.

Indiana, meanwhile, fell to 4-5 with the loss and remains without a win in Big Ten play after beginning the season 4-0.

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.