Big Ten

Illini gain just three rushing yards in loss to Western Michigan


Illini gain just three rushing yards in loss to Western Michigan

After a 25-point loss to a team that played in the ACC title game last season, a 24-point beat down at the hands of the defending MAC champs is not what the doctor ordered for Lovie Smith's Fighting Illini.

Illinois was routed by Western Michigan on Saturday, 34-10, posting only three rushing yards as Illinois native P.J. Fleck led his team to its second win over a Big Ten team this season.

The game was over early, with the Broncos scoring to go up 21-0 just four seconds into the second quarter. The Illini did get one first-half score — a 56-yard touchdown throw from Wes Lunt — but they went to halftime trailing, 24-7. Illinois could muster just a field goal after halftime, Western Michigan adding 10 points to secure the win in easy fashion.

The Illinois offense, for the second consecutive week, was extremely ineffective. The three rushing yards on 15 attempts was particularly cringe-worthy, with the team accumulating just 315 total yards compared to Western Michigan's 437.

Lunt was 29-for-42 for 312 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an interception and had negative-20 rushing yards. Malik Turner was Lunt's top target, and he caught nine passes for 107 yards.

The Broncos gained 287 rushing yards, with Jamauri Bogan rushing for 189 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Illini dropped to 1-2 with the loss, their second straight at home, and open Big Ten play two weeks from now against Nebraska.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


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.