Big Ten

Jake Rudock has huge day as Michigan demolishes Rutgers

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Jake Rudock has huge day as Michigan demolishes Rutgers

Michigan might no longer be in contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff, but the Wolverines are still showing that they're one of the best teams in the Big Ten.

The competition wasn't exactly stiff Saturday, and because of that, Michigan unleashed a dominating blowout at the Big House, a 49-16 demolition of visiting Rutgers.

Jake Rudock had a monstrous day passing the ball, completing 18 of his 25 passing attempts for 337 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He added a four-yard touchdown run, as well.

Rudock's performance was part of a big 487-yard day for the Wolverines' offense. The defense was equally impressive, limiting the Knights to just 225 total yards, including just 97 on the ground.

Michigan scored five touchdowns in the first half, starting the scoring with a Rudock touchdown pass to Jehu Chesson. After a Rutgers field goal, Rudock finished the first quarter with his touchdown run.

The second quarter was a scoring bonanza. Jabrill Peppers and Drake Johnson had rushing touchdowns for Michigan, and Rudock hit Amara Darboh for a score, as well. Rutgers also scored three times in the quarter, but the offense never hit the end zone. Janarion Grant had a 98-yard kick-return touchdown, and Kyle Federico kicked a pair of field goals.

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In the third quarter, De'Veon Smith followed up a big completion from Rudock to Jake Butt with a four-yard touchdown run, and Jim Harbaugh, for some reason, went for two, converting. While Harbaugh didn't say this after the game, there was speculation his decision stemmed from his anger over trash talk from Rutgers player at halftime.

Michigan added a pair of field goals to get the score to the final 49-16.

Four different Wolverines scored rushing touchdowns on Saturday, with Butt catching four passes for 102 yards.

Rutgers, meanwhile, couldn't do a thing. Knights quarterback Chris Laviano completed just 11 passes and threw an interception. And despite Robert Martin gaining 81 yards on the ground, he received just 10 carries.

Michigan improved to 7-2 with the win and remains just one game back of undefeated Ohio State and Michigan State in the Big Ten East race.

Rutgers dropped to 3-6 with the loss and would be ineligible for a postseason appearance with one more defeat.

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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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.