Big Ten

Hoosiers beat Wake Forest for first 4-0 start since 1990

sudfeld-howard-0926.png

Hoosiers beat Wake Forest for first 4-0 start since 1990

For the first time in 25 years, the Indiana Hoosiers are 4-0.

Indiana held off a late charge by Wake Forest to hang on for a 31-24 win, a win that while again wasn’t the prettiest sight kept the Hoosiers unbeaten.

Up against the perennially weak Demon Deacons, the Hoosiers got on the board early with the first of Nate Sudfeld’s two touchdown passes. The next came about 10 minutes later to give Indiana a 14-7 lead, and the Hoosiers went to the locker room with a 17-10 edge.

Jordan Howard, who had a big day with 168 rushing yards, scored in the third quarter to make it 24-10, and Tony Fields returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown to make it a three-touchdown lead at 31-10.

But Wake had some fight left in it, scoring twice over a four-minute stretch near the end of the game to come within a touchdown. The Deacons recovered an onside kick and made it all the way to the Indiana 32-yard line, but they turned it over on downs to end their threat.

[MORE BIG TEN: David Blough impresses, but Purdue suffers crushing loss to Bowling Green]

It was another survival for Indiana, which has made that the way it’s won most of its games this season. The Hoosiers previously sweated out a 48-47 season-opening win over Southern Illinois and a 38-35 win over Western Kentucky last weekend. With Saturday’s 31-24 final score, three of Indiana’s four wins have come by a combined 11 points.

Surprisingly, the 31-point output was Indiana’s lowest of the season. But it was still a good offensive day for the Hoosiers, with Sudfeld throwing for 205 yards and the pair of touchdowns. Howard’s 168 yards were part of a 211-yard rushing day for Indiana.

The Indiana defense, much maligned, intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown and held Wake Forest to just 99 yards rushing, 363 yards total.

The 25-year drought between 4-0 starts for Indiana might not be the only drought ended by this year’s team. The Hoosiers are two thirds of the way to the requisite six wins to reach the postseason with struggling teams Rutgers, Maryland and Purdue still remaining on the schedule. Indiana hasn't been to a bowl game since 2007, the program's only bowl appearance since 1993.

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

jeremy_larkin.jpg
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

anderson.jpg
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.