Big Ten

Jim Harbaugh wants you to know Jake Rudock is Michigan's best quarterback

jake-rudock-0922.png

Jim Harbaugh wants you to know Jake Rudock is Michigan's best quarterback

While Jake Rudock didn’t lead an especially explosive or even effective offense last season at Iowa, he did a terrific job keeping the ball out of the hands of opposing defenders, throwing just five interceptions during the 12 games he played on the season.

Well, through just three games as a Michigan Wolverine, Rudock has already thrown five interceptions, compared to just three touchdown passes.

Now that number is a bit inflated thanks to a rocky performance in the season-opener in which he threw three picks. That came against a very good defense in Utah, not to mention the fact that it was his very first game in a brand-new offense and that everyone else wearing maize and blue, regardless of experience, was in their first game in the new Jim Harbaugh offense, too.

[MORE BIG TEN: Darrell Hazell announces David Blough as Purdue's new starting QB]

But the continued turnovers and the continued lack of success in the passing game has some wondering whether a quarterback change might be necessary to jumpstart the offense. After all, Harbaugh waited until the season-opening drive to reveal that Rudock won the preseason competition over Shane Morris.

But according to Harbaugh, the difference between Rudock and Morris might not be as small as the length of time to reveal the starter might have indicated.

“The timing in the passing game, the detail, the precision that’s required, it takes time on task. To be clear, Jake Rudock’s our best quarterback. Not by a small margin, he’s out best quarterback,” Harbaugh said during his Monday press conference. “And when it comes to precision of the passing game and the timing, that’s something that we’re all working together at and it’s the responsibility of everybody.”

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.