Big Ten

Hawkeyes officially heading to B1G title game after beating Purdue

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Hawkeyes officially heading to B1G title game after beating Purdue

Iowa is officially going to the Big Ten Championship Game.

That's been the expected outcome for weeks now, but the Hawkeyes made their spot in the title game official with a division-title-clinching 40-20 win over Purdue on Saturday afternoon in Iowa City.

It looked like Iowa was going to cruise to victory early, as the Hawkeyes scored touchdowns on each of their first three drives of the game. LeShun Daniels had two touchdown runs, and C.J. Beathard hit Matt VandeBerg to make it a 20-0 lead at the outset of the second quarter.

But the game changed when a Jordan Lomax hit knocked Purdue quarterback David Blough out of the game. Former starter Austin Appleby relieved the injured Blough and breathed new life into the Boilermakers, leading three straight scoring drives in the second and third quarters. He completed his first 10 passes for 98 yards in the second quarter, setting up a Markell Jones touchdown run and a late field goal to make it a 10-point deficit at the half. And Purdue's first drive of the third quarter also ended in a field goal, to make it just a touchdown difference.

Both those field goals, though, came from up close, when touchdowns could have made it a very different game.

The Hawkeyes, though, shook off those mid-game doldrums and went on a 91-yard touchdown drive in the third and a 79-yard touchdown drive in the fourth, with George Kittle and Henry Krieger Coble catching touchdown passes from Beathard.

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Appleby threw his first touchdown pass of the day in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. Jordan Canzeri's 42-yard touchdown run in the game's final minutes made it a 20-point lead for Iowa, a cherry on top of the win.

As Iowa fights for national respectability, West Division bottom-feeder Purdue managed to put a scare into the undefeated No. 5 team in the country. The Boilers racked up better than 400 yards of total offense. Appleby's relief effort was stellar, as he threw for 259 yards and a touchdown.

But Iowa got the big plays it needed, Beathard throwing a trio of touchdown passes and Canzeri rushing for 95 yards.

The win clinched a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game for the Hawkeyes, who are perfect through 11 games this season and still have a great chance of making the College Football Playoff. After next weekend's regular-season finale against Nebraska, Iowa will play either Ohio State, Michigan State or Michigan in the title game in Indianapolis.

The loss dropped the Boilers to 2-9 on the season. A loss in the season finale against Indiana would send Purdue to its second season with double-digit losses in the three seasons Darrell Hazell has been at the helm.

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.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.