Big Ten

Hawkeyes injuries: Drew Ott out for season with torn ACL, C.J. Beathard expected to play

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Hawkeyes injuries: Drew Ott out for season with torn ACL, C.J. Beathard expected to play

Iowa is undefeated through six weeks, but the injury bug is starting to rear its ugly head.

Hawkeyes defensive lineman Drew Ott has a torn ACL, head coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed Tuesday. Ott left Saturday’s win over Illinois and did not return. A report after the game indicated he tore his ACL, which Ferentz confirmed. Ott will miss the remainder of the season, and, as a senior with no eligibility remaining, his collegiate career is over.

“It was confirmed after he went for tests that Drew did tear his ACL. So he's going to be done here,” Ferentz said during his weekly press conference. “It was a great win for us, but the worst part about coaching football is dealing with injuries. I've said this many times, but we get firsthand exposure to just how hard these players work on a year round basis, and they are doing it to have 12 opportunities. That's about all anybody's guaranteed as a college football player, so they work extremely hard to have those 12 opportunities to go out and perform and play with their teammates, and any time that's taken away, it's just a tough thing.

“So it's a tough deal for Drew, certainly. He's a tremendous young guy. He's done everything he possibly can, and especially tough because he just fought back from that elbow injury, he's been playing less than 100 percent, pretty close last week and now this happened. As good as it was on Saturday, to get the victory, I think probably all of us had a little tough feeling on Saturday night just in expectation that this may not turn out well. That's where it's at. Drew will have that addressed here in the near future. He's going to obviously stay with us and I'm counting on him to be a strong team leader. I know he will. But it's a tough thing and it's just part of the game, unfortunately.”

Ott was having a stellar season with five sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

Meanwhile, rumors of a serious injury to quarterback C.J. Beathard floated around social media on Monday night after he was banged up on several plays during Saturday’s game. Beathard told reporters Tuesday that he expects to play in this weekend’s contest at 20th-ranked Northwestern, and Ferentz echoed that sentiment.

“I’m feeling good, just getting treatment and stuff to help me get better,” Beathard told reporters Tuesday. A video of his comments was posted by the Des Moines Register. “A lot of guys come up banged up after games. It’s just a matter of getting better and getting treatment and getting ready for the next game. ... Right now, I’m positive I’ll play.”

“Count on it,” Ferentz said when asked if Beathard will play Saturday. “I'm counting on it, absolutely.”

Beathard has been one of the Big Ten’s best quarterbacks this season. He’s thrown for 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns through six games and rushed in for three additional touchdowns.

A big test awaits the Hawkeyes against the Wildcats, who despite a 38-0 loss to Michigan last weekend still rank in the top 10 nationally in both scoring defense and total defense.

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.