Big Ten

Hawkeyes stay perfect with huge road win over Badgers

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Hawkeyes stay perfect with huge road win over Badgers

What a difference a year has made for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

A year after another mediocre finish, Iowa is a perfect 5-0 thanks to a massive road win over a ranked Wisconsin team Saturday, the Hawkeyes marching into Camp Randall Stadium and beating the Badgers, 10-6, to keep their record unblemished and capture the Heartland Trophy.

Things started in rocky fashion for Iowa, which missed out on scoring opportunities early. A turnover on downs with the ball inside the 10-yard line and a missed field goal with the ball up close had the Hawkeyes in a 3-0 hole early.

But Wisconsin gave Iowa life with a missed field goal of its own and a Joel Stave interception. After Desmond King's fourth pick of the season, the Hawkeyes took over at the Badgers' 31-yard line, and C.J. Beathard capped a short drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to give the visitors a lead.

Stave turned the ball over again in the second quarter, fumbling, a giveaway that led to an Iowa field goal.

[MORE BIG TEN: Northwestern moves to 5-0 with dominant win over Gophers]

It was a defensive battle in the second half, with another King interception of Stave resulting in no points. Michael Caputo picking off Beathard ended in a Wisconsin field goal.

The Badgers had one final chance to take a lead in the game's last minute, driving from midfield into the red zone. But on a fourth-and-two play with 40 seconds to play, Stave's pass was incomplete, and Iowa hung on for the win.

It was a struggle of an offensive day for both sides, obviously. Wisconsin's top-five defense held Beathard to just 77 yards passing on nine completions. But running back Jordan Canzeri, a game after his sensational four-touchdown performance, went for 125 yards on the ground. Iowa gained just 221 total yards on the game.

But Iowa's defense stood tall, as well, holding Wisconsin to just 86 rushing yards and keeping the Badgers out of the end zone. Stave completed 21 passes for 234 yards but also threw a pair of interceptions.

Despite the low score, both teams showed a lot in this one. Iowa gets the major props for the victory, of course, but Wisconsin maintained its stellar defensive start to the season in a losing effort. Both teams had a lot to prove after amassing wins against lowly competition, and this game between two good teams allowed both sides to pass the eye test.

Iowa should enter the top-25 rankings Sunday for the first time since late in 2010.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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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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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.